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3 1924 098 811 247 

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Quid faciat laetas segetes, quo sidere terrain 

Vertere, Maecenas, ulmisque adiungere vites 

Conveniat, quae cura boum, qui cultus habendo 

Sit pecori, apibus quanta experientia parcis, 

Hinc canere incipiam. Vos, o clarissima mundi 5 

Lumina, labentem caelo quae ducitis annum ; 

Liber et alma Ceres, vestro si munere tellus 

Chaoniam pingui glandem mutavit aristis, 

Poculaque inventis Acheloia miscuit uvis ; 

Et vos, agrestum praesentia numina, Fauni, lo 

Ferte simul Faunique pedem Dryadesque puellae : 

Munera vestra cano. Tuque o, cui prima frementem 

Fudit equum magno tellus percussa tridenti, 

Neptune ; et cultor nemorum, cui pinguia Ceae 

Ter centum nivei tondent dumeta iuvenci ; 15 

Ipse nemus linquens patrium saltusque Lycaei 

Pan, ovium custos, tua si tibi Maenala curae, 

Adsis, o Tegeaee, favens, oleaeque Minerva 

Inventrix, uncique puer monstrator aratri, 

Et teneram ab radice ferens, Silvane, cupressum ; 20 

Dique deaeque omnes, studium quibus arva tueri, 

Quique novas alitis non uUo semine fruges, 

Quique satis largum caelo demittitis imbrem ; 

Tuque adeo, quem mox quae sint habitura deorum 

Concilia, incertum est — urbesne invisere, Caesar, 25 

Terrarumque velis curam, et te maximus orbis 

Auctorem frugum tempestatumque potentem 

Accipiat, cingens materna tempora myrto. 

An deus immensi venias maris ac tua nautae 

Numina sola colant, tibi serviat ultima Thule, 30 



What maketh the harvests' golden laughter, what star-clusters guide 
The yeoman for turning the furrow, for wedding the elm to his bride, 
All rearing of cattle, all tending of flocks, all mysteries 
By old experience taught of the treasure-hoarding bees — 
These shall be theme of my song. O ye bright stars of the sphere, 5 
Who pilot, as softly it glides o'er the sea of the heavens, the year ; 
Bacchus and fostering Ceres, if earth, through your kindness, in scorn 
Turned from the acorns wild to the glory and gold of the corn, 
And mingled her water-chalice with grapes of your bounty born ; 
And ye. Fauns, Gods of the country-folk, ever mighty to aid, 10 

Draw nigh, O Fauns, and with you draw nigh each Dryad-maid ; 
For yours are the gifts that I chant ; and thou, at whose trident-stroke 
Snorting the first of steeds from the earth like a fountain broke, 
Neptune ; and Orchard-haunter, for whom by the Cyclad Sea 
Steers snow-white are browsing the fertile copses by hundreds three ; 15 
Thou too from thy forest-cradle, from glades of Lycaeus, draw near 
Pan, Tegea's Lord, O Guardian of sheep — if thou holdest dear 
IMaenala, graciously come ! Minerva, creator thou 
Of the olive ; and thou, young hero, sire of the curved plough ; 
And, Wood-king, thou, mth a slim young cypress uptorn in thine hand. 20 
Come, Gods and Goddesses all who are zealous to ward tilth-land ; 
Come, ye who nurture the new-born crops that no hands sow ; 
Come, ye who cause from the heavens the plenteous showers to flow ! 
And thou — O thou ! — none knows what place in the courts of the sky 
Thou, Caesar, wilt choose. To our cities wilt thou descend from on high, 25 
And watch o'er the weal of the world ? — shall the lands' vast circle adore 
Thee, as the Giver of Increase, the Lord of the Seasons Four, 
A monarch whose head is wreathed with his Mother's myrtle-spray ? 
Wilt thou come to be god of the limitless main, and shall seafarers pray 
To thy godhead alone, and uttermost Thule be thrall to thy power, 30 


Teque sibi generum Tethys emat omnibus undis ; 

Anne novum tardis sidus te mensibus addas, 

Qua locus Erigonen inter chelasque sequentes 

Panditur ; ipse tibi iam bracchia contrahit ardens 

Scorpius, et caeli iusta plus parte reliquit ; 35 

Quidquid eris — nam te nee sperant Tartara regem, 

Nee tibi regnandi veniat tam dira cupido ; 

Quamvis Elysios miretur Graecia campos 

Nee repetita sequi curat Proserpina matrem — 

Da facilem cursum, atque audacibus adnue coeptis, 40 

Ignarosque viae mecum miseratus agrestes 

Ingredere et votis iam nunc adsuesce vocari. 

Vere novo, gelidus canis cum montibus humor 
Liquitur, et Zephyro putris se glaeba resolvit, 

Depresso incipiat iam tum mihi .aurus aratro 45 

Ingemere, et sulco attritus splendescere vomer. 
Ilia seges demum votis respondet avari 
Agricolae, bis quae solem, bis frigora sensit ; 
Illius immensae ruperunt horrea messes. 

At prius ignotum ferro quam scindimus aequor, 50 

Ventos et varium caeli praediscere morem 
Cura sit, ac patrios cultusque habitusque locorum, 
Et quid quaeque ferat regio, et quid quaeque recuset. 
Hie segetes, illic veniunt felicius uvae ; 

Arborei fetus alibi, atque iniussa virescunt 55 

Gramina. Nonne vides, croceos ut Tmolus odores, 
India mittit ebur, molles sua tura Sabaei, 
At Chalybes nudi ferrum, virosaque Pontus 
Castorea, Eliadum palmas Epiros equarum ? 

Continue has leges aetemaque foedera certis 60 

Imposuit natura locis, quo tempore primum 
Deucalion vacuum lapides iactavit in orbem, 
Unde homines nati, durum genus. Ergo age, terrae 
Pingue solum primis extemplo a mensibus anni 

Fortes invertant tauri, glaebasque iacentes 65 

Pulverulenta coquat maturis solibus aestas ; 
At si non fuerit tellus fecunda, sub ipsum 
Arcturum tenui sat erit suspendere sulco : 
IlUc, officiant laetis ne frugibus herbae. 
Hie, sterilem exiguus ne deserat humor arenam. 70 


And the Sea-queen give thee her daughter with all her waves for dower ? 
Or a new star, guiding the slowly-rolling months, wilt thou be. 
Where 'twixt the Virgin and Claws a wide space opens for thee : — 
Lo, now the Scorpion is drawing aside his arms of flame, 
And hath left thee more than the space that a single Sign doth claim ! 35 
Whichsoe'er thou wilt be — not Tartarus hopes thee to sit on her throne ; 
And God forbid thou shouldst covet that awful crown for thine own I 
Though Greece may dream of a Paradise there, an Elysian Plain, 
Though oft-sought Proserpine care not to follow her mother again ; — 
O speed my course, O smile upon this my bold emprise ! 40 

Look on the peasant who knows not the way with compassionate eyes ! 
Come ! Hear and answer prayer even now, ere thou mount to the skies I 
In the birth-tide of spring, when melt from the mountains the ice and the 
And the crumbling clods are breaking down as the west- winds blow, [snow, 
Then let the bull begin to groan, at the plough deep-thnrst 45 

As he strains, let the share gleam bright as the furrows scour it of rust. 
That field will grant to the prayers of the greediest husbandman more 
Than all, which twice to the sunglare, and twice to the winter frore 
Hath been bared : his barns ever burst with their measureless golden store. 
But, or ever we cleave with the share this chartless sea of good, 30 

The winds let us heedfully learn, and the sky's ever-changing mood. 
The inherited needs for nurture and dressing of soil and soil. 
What fruits each region will yield, and what deny to our toil. 
Here corn-crops, yonder grapes in richer abundance glow. 
Otherwhere offspring of trees, or unbidden the green tides flow 55 

Of the grass. Mark Tmolus — the odours of saffron are streaming thence : 
Her ivory India sends, Sabaeans their frankincense. 
The bare-armed Chalybes iron, and Pontus the beaver's balm, 
And Epirus the mares that win in the race the Olympian palm. 
Such laws and abiding covenant-pledges did Nature lay 60 

On the several lands ordained, yea, since that far-off day 
When Deucalion first cast stones o'er a world unpeopled yet. 
Whence sprang this flint-heart race of men. O come then, set 
Thy sturdy steers with the year's first months to upturn with the share 
The mould of a rich soil : then, when the clods are so laid bare, 65 

Let summer scorch them to dust with her ripening suns' hot glare. 
But if fertile the soil be not, will a shallow furrow suffice 
For throwing it up in ridges hght ere Arcturus rise :^- 
Treat rich soils so, lest choking weeds mid the glad corn stand. 
And poor, lest the moisture fail, and leave them a waste of sand. 70 


Alternis idem tonsas cessare novales, 
Et segnem patiere situ durescere campum ; 
Aut ibi flava seres mutato sidere farra, 
Unde prius laetum siliqua quassante legumen 

Aut tenuis fetus viciae tristisque lupini 75 

Sustuleris fragiles calamos silvamque sonantem. 
Urit enim lini campum seges, urit avenae, 
Urunt Lethaeo perfusa papavera somno : 
Sed tamen alternis facilis labor ; arida tantum 

Ne saturare fimo pingui pudeat sola, neve 80 

Effetos cinerem immundum iactare per agros. 
Sic quoque mutatis requiescunt fetibus arva ; 
Nee nulla interea est inaratae gratia terrae. 
Saepe etiam steriles incendere profuit agros, 

Atque levem stipulam crepitantibus urere flammis : 85 

Sive inde occultas vires et pabula terrae 
Pinguia concipiunt, sive illis omne per ignem 
Excoquitur vitium, atque exsudat inutilis humor, 
Seu plures calor ille vias et caeca relaxat 

Spiramenta, novas veniat qua sucus in herbas ; 90 

Seu durat magis, et venas adstringit hiantes, 
Ne tenues pluviae, rapidive potentia solis 
Acrior, aut Boreae penetrabile frigus adurat. 
Multum adeo, rastris glaebas qui frangit inertes 

Vimineasque trahit crates, iuvat arva, neque ilium 95 

Flava Ceres alto nequiquam spectat Olympo ; 
Et qui, proscisso quae suscitat aequore terga, 
Rursus in obliquum verso perrumpit aratro, 
Exercetque frequens tellurem, atque imperat arvis. 

Humida solstitia atque hiemes orate serenas, 100 

Agricolae : hiberno laetissima pulvere farra, 
Laetus ager ; nullo tantum se Mysia cultu 
lactat, et ipsa suas mirantur Gargara messes. 
Quid dicam, iacto qui semine comminus arva 

Insequitur, cumulosque ruit male pinguis arenae, 105 

Deinde satis fluvium inducit rivosque sequentes, 
Et, cum exustus ager morientibus aestuat herbis, 
Ecce supercilio clivosi tramitis undam 
Elicit ? Ilia cadens raucum per levia murmur 
Saxa ciet, scatebrisque arentia temperat arva. no 


In years alternate withal shalt thou let thy reaped field bide 
Fallow : the face of the sleeping plain let a hard crust hide. 
Else, sow 'neath the stars of a diverse season the golden corn 
Where erst the pods of the glad pulse danced in the wind of morn, 
Or where the progeny slender-limbed of the weak vetch climbed, 75 

Or the frail stalks stood and the bells of the bitter lupine chimed : 
Not flax or oats ! — for their harvest burns out the sap of the plain, 
So hkewise do poppies drenched with obhvion's slumber-rain. 
Yet thy toil by rotation is made more light : but forbear not of pride [wide 
From mulching with fattening dung parched soil, nor from scattering 
The ash-grime over the fields whence the nature and strength has died. 
So also by change of crop land gains the rest that is sought. 
Nor left unfilled the while is the soil, and thankful for naught. 
Oft, too, hath it much availed to fire the barren lands. 
And to smite with the sword of flame the stubble's hght-armed bands : 85 
Whether mysterious strength and nourishment be given 
To the soil thereby, or whether all evil and poisonous leaven 
Be scorched therefrom, and useless moisture be steamed away. 
Or that many a channel and pore long hidden from light of day 
Is unsealed by the heat, wherethrough to the young blades sap may rise 190 
Or that rather it hardens, and closes the clefts that gape to the skies, 
Lest the searching rains or a scorching sun's too vehement stress. 
Or the north-wind's piercing cold may blast it to barrenness. 
And greatly he helpeth his land, who shatters the torpid clods [Gods 95 
With the mattock, and drags with-harrows across ; — from the home of the 
Looks golden Ceres down upon him with favouring brow ; — 
He too, who, after his field's first furrowing, turneth the plough 
Athwart, and breaks through the sides of the ridges, with ceaseless toil 
Laboureth ever the earth, and is despot over the soil. 

For drizzling summers and sunny winters, husbandmen, pray ; 100 
For a winter of dust with a glorious robe of corn will array 
Thy glorying field : this, more than all tillage of man, makes proud 
Mysia, makes Gargara marvel bedraped with her golden cloud. 
Can I praise him enough, who casteth his seed, then hand to hand 
Charges the field, and levels its hillocks of barren sand, 105 

Then leads a brimming brook and its following rills o'er the land ? 
When fevered the parched land lies, and the corn-blades dying sink, 
Lo, he is luring the wave from its hillside-channel's brink — 
O see it, where falling it wakes amid pebbles smooth and round [no 
Hoarse murmurs, and cools with its gushings the burning lips of the ground ! 


Quid qui, ne gravidis procumbat culmus aristis, 

Luxuriem segetum tenera depascit in herba. 

Cum primum sulcos aequant sata, quique paludis 

Collectum humorem bibula deducit arena, 

Praesertim incertis si mensibus amnis abundans II3 

Exit, et obducto late tenet omnia limo, 

Unde cavae tepido sudant humore lacunae ? 

Nee tamen, haec cum sint hominumque boumque labores 
Versando terram experti, nihil improbus anser 

Strymoniaeque grues et amaris intuba fibris I20 

Of&ciunt aut umbra nocet. Pater ipse colendi 
Haud facilem esse viam voluit, primusque per artem 
Movit agros, curis acuens mortalia corda. 
Nee torpere gravi passus sua regna veterno. 

Ante lovem nuUi subigebant arva coloni ; 125 

Ne signare quidem aut partiri limite campum 
Fas erat : in medium quaerebant, ipsaque teUus 
Omnia liberius nuUo poscente ferebat. 
lUe malum virus serpentibus addidit atris, 

Praedarique lupos iussit, pontumque moveri, 130 

Mellaque decussit foliis, ignemque removit, 
Et passim rivis currentia vina repressit, 
Ut varias usus meditando extunderet artes 
PauUatim, et sulcis frumenti quaereret herbam, 

Ut silicis venis abstrusum excuderet ignem. 135 

Tunc alnos primum fluvii sensere cavatas ; 
Navita turn stellis numeros et nomina fecit, 
Pleiadas, Hyadas, claramque Lycaonis Arcton ; 
Turn laqueis captare feras, et fallere visco 

Inventum, et magnos canibus circumdare saltus ; 140 

Atque alius latum funda iam verberat amnem, 
Alta petens, pelagoque alius trahit hiimida lina ; 
Tum ferri rigor atque argutae lamina serrae, 
(Nam primi cuneis scindebant fissile lignum) 

Tum variae venere artes. Labor omnia vicit 145 

Improbus, et duris urguens in rebus egestas. 
Prima Ceres ferro mortales vertere terram 
Instituit, cum iam glandes atque arbuta sacrae 
Deiicerent silvae et victum Dodona negaret. 
Mox et frumentis labor additus, ut mala culmos 150 


He is wise who, lest 'neath the ears' weight earthward the stalks be flung, 

Grazes the lush growth down while green is the blade and young. 

Soon as the crops to the furrows' level have risen ; and he 

Who drains and cleanses through filtering sand the wet-clogged lea ; 

Then most, if a river swelling in months of unsettled skies 115 

Overflows, and a veil of slime over all the lowland has. 

And from pools in every hollow upsteaming the vapours rise. 

Yet, yet, when the labours of men and of oxen have done all this 
For the land, much mischief is wrought by the goose with her shameless hiss. 
By norland cranes, by the bitter-rooted succory killed 120 

Is the corn, or by shade is stunted. Allfather himself hath willed 
That the pathway of tillage be thorny. He first by man's art broke 
Earth's crust, and by care for the morrow made keen the wits of her folk, 
Nor suffered his kingdom to drowse 'neath lethargy's crushing chain. 
No husbandman tamed the savage fields before Jove's reign. 125 

To mark for one's own a plot of land, to divide the plain 
By a boundary-hne, was a sin : all winnings in common were won. 
Earth of herself bare all things freely, and bidden of none. 

It was Jove who bestowed their deadly venom on serpents fell, 

Who bade wolves ravin for prey, and the sea in tempest swell, 130 

Who dashed from the leaves their honey, who made fire flee away, 

Who stilled the brooks that with wine were wont to hurry and stray. 

That Thought on experience' anvil might shape arts manifold. 

And might seek in the furrow the blade that is pledge of the harvest's gold. 

And smite from the veins of flint the fire-soul hidden there. 135 

Then first of the hollowed alder-shell were the rivers ware : 

Then shipmen numbered the stars, and gave unto each his name. 

As the Pleiads, the Hyads, the Huntress-bear's bright points of flame. 

Then how wild things are snared, and with birdlime how betrayed 

Men found, and how with the hounds to compass the forest-glade. 140 

And now one lashes a broad stream's face with a casting-net. 

Searching the depths, one drags from the sea seines dripping-wet. 

Then came the unyielding iron, the saw-blade's hissing scream — • 

For with wedges the first men cleft from the tree the rough-hewn beam : — 

Then followed manifold arts : unflinching toil ever won 145 

Triumphs : in hardship's school stern need still drave men on. 

By Ceres were men first taught with iron to upheave the ground. 

When acorns now and arbute-berries were no more found, 

And Dodona denied the food erst scattered freely round. 

But trouble and travail soon fell on the corn : by noisome rust 150 


Esset robigo, segnisque horreret in arvis 

Carduus : intereunt segetes, subit aspera silva, 

Lappaeque tribolique, interque nitentia culta 

Infelix lolium et steriles dominantur avenae. 

Quod nisi et adsiduis herbam insectabere rastris, i35 

Et sonitu terrebis aves, et ruris opaci 

Falce premes umbras, votisque vocaveris imbrem, 

Heu magnum alterius frustra spectabis acervum, 

Conciissaque famem in silvis solabere quercu. 

Dicendum et, quae sint duris agrestibus arma, i6o 

Quis sine nee potuere seri nee surgere messes : 
Vomis et inflexi primum grave robur aratri, 
Tardaque Eleusinae matris volventia plaustra, 
Tribulaque traheaeque, et iniquo pondere rastri ; 

Virgea praeterea Celei vilisque supellex, 165 

Arbuteae crates et mystica vannus lacchi. 
Omnia quae multo ante memor provisa repones. 
Si te digna manet divini gloria ruris. 
Continuo in silvis magna vi flexa domatur 

In burim, et curvi formam accipit ulmus aratri. 170 

Huic a stirpe pedes temo protentus in octo, 
Binae aures, duplici aptantur dentalia dorso. 
Caeditur et tilia ante iugo levis altaque fagus, 
Stivaque, quae currus a tergo torqueat imos. 
Et suspensa focis explorat robora fumus. 174 

Possum multa tibi veterum praecepta referre, 
Ni refugis tenuesque piget cognoscere curas. 
Area cum primis ingenti aequanda cylindro 
Et vertenda manu et creta solidanda tenaci, 

Ne subeant herbae, neu pulvere victa fatiscat, 180 

Tum variae inludant pestes : saepe exiguus mus 
Sub terris posuitque domos atque horrea fecit, 
Aut oculis capti fodere cubilia talpae, 
Inventusque cavis bufo, et quae plurima terrae 

Monstra ferunt, populatque ingentem farris acervum 185 

Curculio, atque inopi metuens formica senectae. 
Contemplator item, cum se nux plurima silvis 
Induet in florem et ramos curvabit olentes : 
Si superant fetus, pariter frumenta sequentur, 
Magnaque cum magno veniet tritura calore ; 190 


Were the stalks devoured : the lazy thistle his dense spears thrust 

Mid the wheat-ranks ; perish the crops ; uprises a thicket of thorn, 

Of caltrops, of burrs, and over the gleaming gold of the corn 

The fruitless darnel lords it, the barren oat is king. 

Then unless thou assail the weeds with the mattock's tireless swing, 155 

And scare with clangour the birds, and thin with thine hook the shade 

Of thy farm overgloomed, and with vows call down the rain to thine aid, 

Alas for thee I thou wilt eye thy neighbour's pile in vain. 

And wilt shake the oak in the woods to allay thine hunger's pain.^- 

Now named be the weapons meet for the sturdy yeoman's toil, 160 
Without which never could harvests be sown nor spring from the soil. 
The share and the ponderous strength of the curved plough first do I name, 
And the wains slow-rolling, the gift of Eleusis' Goddess-dame, 
The sledge and the drag withal, and the mattock of grievous weight. 
And old King Celeus' invention, the costless wattled crate, 165 

Hurdles of arbute, lacchus' fan, the mystic sign. 
Forget not betimes to provide all these, and to store, if thine 
Is to be at the last a glory worthy the land divine. 

The elm in the woods from the first is by main force made to bow 
To the plough-stock's arch, and receives theshape of the curved plough. 170 
Eight feet forward the pole from the stock thereof must run : 
Two mould-boards and share-beams of twofold ridge are fitted thereon. 
For the yoke hath a linden light been felled, a towering beech 
For the handle, the which to thy car her earth-hidden course shall teach. 
O'er the hearth hang all, that the smoke may search through the fibres of 

Many a maxim could I recount of the men of old, [each. 175 

If thou start not back, and begrudge of lowly cares to be told. 
With the giant roller levelled must be thy threshing-floor, 
Firm-paved with clay, by handwork kneaded and oft turned o'er, 
Lest weeds spring up, lest it crack in the hot dust's triumphing-hour, 180 
And manifold vermin mock thy toil. Her barn and her bower 
Oft hath the pigmy mouse built under the earth's smooth face. 
Or the eyeless mole hath scooped thereunder a slumber-place. 
And in crannies the toad is found, and all things hideous and vile 
Earth spawns : of thy corn will the weevil ravage a mighty pile, 185 
And the ant, by dread of an age of want spurred on to toil, 
--^lark, too, when the wide-spreading walnut amidst of the woods in a cloud 
Of blossoms arrays her, and earthward her odorous arms are bowed. 
If the most of them set into fnait, even so shall thine harvest be ; 
Great shall be summer's heat, great labour of threshing for thee. 190 


At si luxuria foliorum exuberat umbra, 

Nequiquam pingues palea teret area culmos. 

Semina vidi equidem multos medicare serentes, 

Et nitro prius et nigra perfundere amurca, 

Grandior ut fetus siliquis fallacibus esset, 195 

Et, quamvis igni exiguo, properata maderent. 

Vidi lecta diu et multo spectata labore 

Degenerare tamen, ni vis humana quotannis 

Maxima quaeque manu legeret. Sic omnia fatis 

In peius ruere ac retro sublapsa referri, 200 

Non aliter quam qui adverse vix flumine lembum 

Remigiis subigit, si bracchia forte remisit, 

Atque ilium in praeceps prono rapit alveus amni. 

Praeterea tam sunt Arcturi sidera nobis 
Haedorumque dies servandi et lucidus Anguis, 205 

Quam quibus in patriam ventosa per aequora vectis 
Pontus et ostriferi fauces tentantur Abydi. 
Libra die somnique pares ubi fecerit horas, 
Et medium luci atque umbris iam dividit orbem, 

Exercete, viri, tauros, serite hordea campis 210 

Usque sub extremum brumae intractabilis imbrem ; 
Nee non et lini segetem et Cereale papaver 
Tempus humo tegere et iamdudum incumbere aratris 
Dum sicca tellure licet, dum nubila pendent. 

Vere fabis satio ; tum te quoque, medica, putres 215 

Accipiunt sulci, et milio venit annua cura, 
Candidus auratis aperit cum cornibus annum 
Taurus, et adverso cedens Canis occidit astro. 
At si triticeam in messem robustaque farra 

Exercebis humum, solisque instabis aristis, 220 

Ante tibi Eoae Atlantides abscondantur, 
Cnosiaque ardentis decedat stella Coronae, 
Debita quam sulcis committas semina, quamque 
Invitae properes anni spem credere terrae. 

Multi ante occasum Maiae coepere ; sed illos 225 

Expectata seges vanis elusit aristis. 
Si vero viciamque seres vilemque phaselum. 
Nee Pelusiacae curam aspernabere lentis, 
Haud obscura cadens mittet tibi signa Bootes : 
Incipe et ad medias sementem extende pruinas. 230 


But if leaves in lavish greenness and broad shade gloom around, 

In vain shall thy floor bruise haulms that in naught but chaff abound. 

Many men have I known drug seeds ere they trusted them to the soil ; 

In natron they wont to steep them, and dark thick lees of oil, 

That fuUer the fruit might swell in the pod that so oft is a liar, 195 

And quickly might seethe and soften, how scant soever the fire. 

I have seen seeds chosen through years, and with infinite labour scanned. 

Degenerate notwithstanding, unless each season by hand 

Men picked out ever the finest. So, by the law of Fate 

Haste all things from good to worse, slip downhill soon or late. 200 

It is even as when against the stream with might and main 

One roweth a boat ; if he haply relax his arms' strong strain. 

Headlong adown the river the current sweeps him again. 

We yeomen, moreover, must watch Arcturus' star, and the rise 
Of the Kids, and the gleaming Serpent, with no less heedful eyes 205 
Than do they who over the wind-scourged waters homeward-bound 
On Pontus venture their lives, and Abydos' oyster-ground. 
When the hours of day and of slumber the Balance hath equal made. 
And now hath parted the world in twain 'twixt light and shade, 
Goad, yeomen, your steers to their toil, wide sow with barley the plain 210 
To the very verge of baffling winter's stormy rain. 
Then too is the time when the flax and the poppy of Ceres should lie 
Earth-veiled, and ere then, while thou canst, while yet the ground is dry, 
Bend over the plough, while the clouds burst not, but still hang high. 
For beans is the sowing-time spring ; then, child of the East, lucerne, 215 
Soft furrows receive thee, and care for the millet must yearly return 
When gleaming-white the Bull with his golden horns thrusts wide 
The gates of the year, and the Dogstar backward sinks in the tide. 
But if for a harvest of wheat and of sturdy spelt thou wilt till 
The ground, and on naught but the golden ears hast fixed thy will, 220 
Let the morning setting of Atlas' Daughters be seen of thee. 
And the eventide plunge of the stars of the flaming Crown in the sea. 
Or ever thou yield to the furrows their debt of seed, and ere 
Thou haste to entrust to the grudging earth the hope of the year. 
Many before the setting of Maia begin, but they 225 

See their dream of a harvest vanish in empty ears away. 
But and if it be vetch thou wilt sow, and the bean of Httle price. 
And the care of the Nile-bom lentil be not contemned in thine eyes, 
Bootes' setting will flash unto thee no doubtful token : 
Begin, and till frost's mid-season thy sowing may stretch unbroken. 230 


Idcirco certis dimensum partibus orbem 

Per duodena regit mundi sol aureus astra. 

Quinque tenent caelum zonae : quanim una corusco 

Semper sole rubens et torrida semper ab igni ; 

Quam circum extremae dextra laevaque trahuntur 235 

Caerulea glacie concretae atque imbribus atris ; 

Has inter mediamque duae mortalibus aegris 

Munere concessae divom, et via secta per ambas, 

Obliquus qua se signorum verteret ordo. 

Mundus, ut ad Scythiam Rhipaeasque arduus arces 240 

Consurgit, premitur Libyae devexus in austros. 

Hie vertex nobis semper sublimis ; at ilium 

Sub pedibus Styx atra videt Manesque profundi. 

Maximus hie flexu sinuoso elabitur Anguis 

Circum perque duas in morem fluminis Arctos, 245 

Arctos Oceani metuentes aequore tingui. 

Illic, ut perhibent, aut intempesta silet nox 

Semper et obtenta densentur nocte tenebrae ; 

Aut redit a nobis Aurora diemque reducit, 

Nosque ubi primus equis Oriens adflavit anhelis, 250 

Illic sera rubens accendit lumina Vesper. 

Hinc tempestates dubio praediscere caelo 

Possumus, hinc messisque diem tempusque serendi, 

Et quando infidum remis impellere marmor 

Conveniat, quando armatas deducere classes, 255 

Aut tempestivam silvis evertere pinum : 

Nee frustra signorum obitus speculamur et ortus 

Temporibusque parem diversis quattuor annum. 

Frigidus agricolam si quando continet imber, 
Multa, forent quae mox caelo properanda sereno, 260 

Maturare datur : durum procudit arator 
Vomeris obtunsi dentem, cavat arbore lintres, 
Aut pecori signum aut numeros impressit acervis. 
Exacuunt alii vallos furcasque bicornes, 

Atque Amerina parant lentae retinacula viti. 265 

Nunc facilis rubea texatur fiscina virga ; 
Nunc torrete igni fruges, nunc frangite saxo. 
Quippe etiam testis quaedam exercere diebus 
Fas et iura sinunt : rivos deducere nulla 
ReUigio vetuit, segeti praetendere saepem, 270 


For our guidance the sun directeth his golden car's career [sphere. 

In portions fixed, measured out through the twelve great Signs of the 

Five Zones span all the heaven, whereof one flusheth aye 

Red in the flame of the sun, and is scorched by his fire alway ; 

And around this far to the right and far to the left sweep twain 235 

Stif^-frozen with pale-blue ice, and dark with stormy rain. 

'Twixt these and the midmost are twain bestowed by the bounty of Heaven 

On afflicted mortals, and through them a highway celestial is driven 

Where slantwise wheels the procession of Signs for seasons given. 

High as the world towers up toward norland hills of snow, 240 

So low doth it slope and sink toward Libya's tonid glow. 

This pole hangeth over our heads evermore : that other, 'tis told. 

Dark Styx and the netherworld Ghosts far under their feet behold. 

With sinuous coiling here doth the giant Serpent glide. 

And around and between the Bears in river-fashion slide — 245 

The Bears that fearfully shrink from plunging in Ocean's tide. 

There, as they tell — we know not — is hush of the dead of night 

Ever, and gloom made thicker by darkness palling the light ; 

Or haply from us returning Aurora to them brings day. 

And on us when the breath of the panting steeds of Dawn doth play, 250 

The Evening-star in the gloaming is kindhng there her ray. 

Hence storms, whereunto the face of the heavens gives no clue, 

Are foreknown, and the day of harvest, the time unto sowing due. 

And when with the oar to smite the smooth bright treacherous main 

Shall be safe, and when to launch on the deep armadas again, 255 

Or to lay the forest-pine in its season low on the plain. 

Nor for naught do we watch the Signs as they rise or sink from the sky. 

And note the Seasons that 'quarter the year so evenly. 

Whensoever by sleety rain the yeoman is prisonecl fast. 
Much work that, when skies are fair, must needs be wrought in haste, 260 
May be done betimes ; for then the ploughman sharpens and shapes 
His blunted share's hard fang, from the tree carves troughs for the grapes. 
He sets his mark on his flock, his talhes on grain-heaps lays ; 
Some point vine-stakes the while, and double-horned vine-stays. 
And prepare for the vine-shoots bands of phant willow-spraj's. 265 

Now is the flexible basket woven of briar or rush ; 
Now parch o'er the fire your grain, and now with the millstone crush. 

Nay, even on holy-days the laws of God and man 
Permit some works to be done : no scruple hath laid its ban 
On leading the runnels over the crops, on fencing the corn, 270 


Insidias avibus moliri, incendere vepres, 

Balantumque gregem fluvio mersare salubri. 

Saepe oleo tardi costas agitator aselli 

Vilibus aut onerat pomis, lapidemque revertens 

Incusum aut atrae massam picis urbe reportat. 275 

Ipsa dies alios alio dedit ordine Luna 
Felices operum. Quintam fuge : pallidus Orcus 
Eumenidesque satae ; turn partu Terra nefando 
Coeumque lapetumque creat saevumque Typhoea 

Et coniuratos caelum rescindere fratres. 280 

Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam 
Scilicet, atque Ossae frondosum involvere Olympum ; 
Ter pater exstructos disiecit fulmine montes. 
Septima post decimam felix et ponere vitem 

Et prensos domitare boves et licia telae 285 

Addere. Nona fugae melior, contraria furtis. 

Multa adeo gelida melius se nocte dedere, 
Aut cum sole novo terras irrorat Eous. 
Nocte leves melius stipulae, nocte arida prata 

Tondentur, noctes lentus non deficit humor. 290 

Et quidam seros hiberni ad luminis ignes 
Pervigilat, ferroque faces inspicat acuto ; 
Interea longum cantu solata laborem 
Arguto coniunx percurrit pectine telas, 

Aut dulcis musti Volcano decoquit humorem 295 

Et foliis undam trepidi despumat aheni. 
At rubicunda Ceres medio succiditur aestu, 
Et medio tostas aestu terit area fruges. 
Nudus ara, sere nudus ; hiemps ignava colono. 

Frigoribus parto agricolae plerumque fruuntur, 300 

Mutuaque inter se laeti convivia curiant. 
Invitat genialis hiemps curasque resolvit, 
Ceu pressae cum iam portum tetigere carinae, 
Puppibus et laeti nautae imposuere coronas. 

Sed tamen et quernas glandes tum stringere tempus 305 

Et lauri bacas oleamque cruentaque myrta ; 
Tum gruibus pedicas et retia ponere cervis, 
Auritosque sequi lepores ; tum figere dammas 
Stuppea torquentem Balearis verbera fundae. 
Cum nix alta iacet, glaciem cum flumina trudunt. 310 


On laying snares for birds, on burning briar and thorn, 

On plunging into the health-giving river the bleating sheep. 

And the ass's driver often \vith oil or with apples cheap 

Then ladeth the slow beast's sides, and returning bringeth back 

From the town an indented millstone or pitch-mass glossy-black. 275 

The Moon herself hath allotted days of blessing and bale 
For thy diverse works. The fifth shun thou ; then Orcus the pale 
And the Furies were born ; then Earth brought forth that spawn of hell, 
Coeus, lapetus bare she, the giant Typhoeus the fell. 
And the brethren leagued to raze the shining walls of Heaven. 280 

Thrice upon Pelion to pile up Ossa these had striven. 
And on Ossa to roll Olympus up with his forest-crown : 
Thrice by Allfather's bolts was their mountain-pile dashed down. 
For planting the vine the seventeenth day good fortune gives, [285 

And for tying the loops to the warp, and for catching and breaking beeves. 
Propitious to runaway slaves is the ninth, but adverse to thieves. 

Many a task, in sooth, is fitlier done in the night, 
Or when the Daystar bedeweth the earth, ere the sun is bright. 
Better by night hght stubble is cut, parched meads better mown 
By night, when with plenteous night-dews springy the grass hath grown. 
By his winter-fire's red glow one keeps late vigil, with knife [290 

Keen-whetted pointing him torchwood slivers, the while his wife 
Brightens the long monotonous household-toil with singing, 
While racing athwart her web is the shuttle shrilly ringing. 
Or over the Fire-king's flame she boils down thick sweet must, 295 

And skims with leaves the quivering caldron's white foam-crust. 
But the ruddy corn with the sickle is cut in the midnoon heat, [beat. 
And the chaff from the grain in the midnoon glare doth the threshing-floor 
AH cloakless plough, sow cloakless : in winter the yeoman may rest ; 
Mid its cold do the husbandmen ever enjoy their storehouses' best. 300 
They make merry together, and neighbours for neighbours the feast pre- 
It is hospitality's high-tide, it loosens the fetters of care ; [pare. 

As when keels deep-laden have won to the haven for which they yearn, 
And the gladsome mariners wreathe with garlands every stern. 
Yet then is the season for stripping of acorns the oak in the wood, 305 
The berries of laurel and olive and myrtle red as blood, 
The season to snare the cranes, the nets for the stag to spread, 
To course the long-eared hare, to whirl around the head 
The sling of the Western Isles, and to smite the deer with the stone, 
When the snow Hes deep, when the rivers are driving the ice-pack on. 310 


Quid tempestates autumni et sidera dicam, 
Atque, ubi iam breviorque dies et moUior aestas, 
Quae vigilanda viris ? vel cum ruit imbriferum ver, 
Spicea iam campis cum messis inhorruit, et cum 

Frumenta in viridi stipula lactentia turgent ? 3i5 

Saepe ego, cum flavis messorem induceret arvis 
Agricola et fragili iam stringeret hordea culmo. 
Omnia ventorum concurrere proelia vidi. 
Quae gravidam late segetem ab radicibus imis 

Sublimem expulsam eruerent, ita turbine nigro 320 

Ferret hiemps culmumque levem stipulasque volantes. 
Saepe etiam immensum caelo venit agmen aquarum, 
Et foedam glomerant tempestatem imbribus atris 
Collectae ex alto nubes ; ruit arduus aether, 

Et pluvia ingenti sata laeta boumque labores 325 

Diluit ; implentur fossae et cava flumina crescunt 
Cum sonitu, fervetque fretis spirantibus aequor. 
Ipse Pater media nimborum in nocte corusca 
Fulmina molitur dextra ; quo maxima motu 

Terra tremit, fugere ferae, et mortalia corda 330 

Per gentes humilis stravit pavor : ille flagranti 
Aut Athon aut Rhodopen aut alta Ceraunia telo 
Deiicit ; ingeminant Austri et densissimus imber : 
Nunc nemora ingenti vento, nunc litora plangunt. 

Hoc metuens, caeli menses et sidera serva, 335 

Frigida Saturni sese quo stella receptet, 
Quos ignis caelo Cyllenius erret in orbes. 
In primis venerare deos, atque annua magnae 
Sacra refer Cereri laetis operatus in herbis, 

Extremae sub casum hiemis, iam vere sereno. 340 

Turn pingues agni et tum mollissma vina, 
Tum somni dulces densaeque in montibus umbrae. 
Cuncta tibi Cererem pubes agrestis adoret ; 
Cui tu lacte favos et miti dilue Baccho, 

Terque novas circum felix eat hostia fruges, 345 

Omnis quam chorus et socii comitentur ovantes, 
Et Cererem clamore vocent in tecta ; neque ante 
Falcem maturis quisquam supponat aristis, 
Quam Cereri torta redimitus tempora quercu 
Det motus incompositos et carmina dicat. 350 


What of the stormy stars of autumn-tide shall I say. 
How watchful men must be, when shorter now is the day. 
And tempered the heat ?— or when Spring pours down in torrents of rain, 
When the harvest of spears bristles over the fields, when every grain 
Is swelling, milky yet, in the green stalks thronging the plain ? 315 

Oft I, when the yeoman was bringing his reapers into the field 
Of gold, was in act to strip the frail-stalked barley's yield, 
Have seen the embattled hosts of the winds all clash in the fray, 
Tearing the heavy-eared crop from its hold on the earth away. 
Whirling it up through the air, till the stubble and stalk of the corn 320 
Are flying like birds on the tempest's black tornado borne. 
A Titan battalion of waters oft sweeps from the welkin down. 
And the huddled clouds roll up on the storm's malignant frown 
Black deluge of rain : the firmament crashes to earth from the height, 
And floods with its measureless downpour the crops late smiling bright, 325 
And the toil of the steers : brim trenches, the swelling rivers roar 
In their gorges ; the sea is boiling o'er leagues of steaming shore. 
In the midst of the night of clouds Allfather himself is shaking 
His bolts in his gleaming hand : the earth's huge mass is quaking [330 
At the rush of them : fled have the beasts ; men's hearts through every land 
By grovelling panic are cowed, while He with his blazing brand 
Hurls Athos or Rhodope down, or the Cape of the Thunder-strand. 
Ever louder the south-wind howls, the rain pours thick and fast ; 
Now shrieketh the forest, now waileth the shore in the mighty blast. [335 

In fear of this, mark well heaven's stars and the months that they light ; 
Note whither the shivering planet of Saturn shrinks from sight. 
What orbits in heaven Mercury's wandering fire makes bright. 
Before all things worship the Gods : thy yearly sacrifice bring 
Unto Ceres ; on glad green grass pay thou thine offering 
When the last sun of winter has set, when calm is the smile of Spring. 340 
Fat are the lambkins then, then wines are mellowest. 
Then slumber is sweet, and thick is the shade on the mountain's breast. 
Thou shalt see all lads of the country-side Queen Ceres adore. 
Milk blended with honey and mellow wine unto her do thou pour : 
Around the young crops thrice let the victim propitious pace, 345 

And let all the array of the neighbours attend it with gla,dsome face, 
And call upon Ceres with outcry loud — " To oyr homes draw near ! " 
And let no man lay the sickle unto the ripened ear 
Or ever to Ceres, with temples wreathed with the twined oak-bough. 
He present the uncouth dance, and chant the Hymn of the Plough. 350 


Atque haec ut certis possemus discere signis, 
Aestusque pluviasque et agentes frigora ventos. 
Ipse Pater statuit, quid menstrua luna moneret. 
Quo signo caderent Austri, quid saepe videntes 

Agricolae propius stabulis armenta tenerent. 355 

Continue ventis surgentibus aut freta ponti 
Incipiunt agitata tumescere et aridus altis 
Montibus audiri fragor, aut resonantia longe 
Litora misceri et nemorum increbrescere murmur. 

lam sibi turn curvis male temperat unda carinis, 360 

Cum medio celeres revolant ex aequore mergi 
Clamoremque ferunt ad litora, cumque marinae 
In sicco ludunt fulicae, notasque paludes 
Deserit atque altam supra volat ardea nubem. 

Saepe etiam stellas, vento impendente, videbis 365 

Praecipites caelo labi, noctisque per umbram 
Flammarum longos a tergo albescere tractus ; 
Saepe levem paleam et frondes volitare caducas, 
Aut summa nantes in aqua coUudere plumas. 

At Boreae de parte trucis cum fulminat, et cum 370 

Enrique Zephyrique tonat domus, omnia plenis 
Rura natant fossis, atque omnis navita ponto 
Humida vela legit. Numquam imprudentibus imber 
Obfuit : aut ilium surgentem vallibus imis 

Aeriae fugere grues, aut bucula caelum 375 

Suspiciens patulis captavit naribus auras, 
Aut arguta lacus circumvolitavit hirundo, 
Et veterem in limo ranae cecinere querellam. 
Saepius et tectis penetralibus extulit ova 

Angustum formica terens iter, et bibit ingens 380 

Arcus, et e pastu decedens agmine magno 
Corvorum increpuit densis exercitus alls. 
lam variae pelagi volucres, et quae Asia circum 
Dulcibus in stagnis rimantur prata Caystri, 

Certatim largos humeris infundere rores, 385 

Nunc caput obiectare fretis, nunc currere in undas 
Et studio incassum videas gestire lavandi. 
Tum comix plena pluviam vocat improba voce 
Et sola in sicca secum spatiatur arena. 
Ne nocturna quidem carpentes pensa puellae 390 


That by tokens sure these things may still be of us foretold — 
The sultry heat and the rain, and the winds that waft the cold, — 
AUfather appointed what warnings the monthly moon should bring, 
What sign should betoken the south-\vind's lulling, what oft-seen thing 
Bid husbandmen gather their flocks more nigh to the fold from the lea. 355 
Soon as the winds are rising, begins on the gulfs of the sea 
A tossing and surging ; rings from the high hills suddenly 
A crash as of dry wood snapping ; or far-resounding the shore 
Is a turmoil of echoes : more loud is the moan of the woods evermore. 
No longer the breakers forbear to buffet the keels, when fly 360 

S%viftly the sea-mews back from the outsea, bearing the cry 
Of the troubled deep to the land, and when the sea-coots play 
On the wave-forsaken strand, when the heron afar doth stray 
From her home in the fens, and over the high clouds soareth away. 
When wind is imminent, oft shaft thou see a sudden star 365 

Slip headlong down from the sky, and behind it a long white bar 
Lies on the blackness of night, a splendour trailing afar. 
Light straws and fallen leaves oft flutter in fairy race. 
Or feathers cling together, and sport on the water's face. 
But when from the realm of the fierce North- wind it lightens, and when 370 
The East and the West-wind's cloudy halls are thundering, then 
All trenches are brimming, the land is flooded, all seafaring men 
Furl streaming sails. Never cometh a storm unheralded : 
Sometimes, as it rolls through the mountain-gorges, the cranes have fled 
High-soaring before it : the heifer, her eyes upturned to the sky, 375 

With wide-spread nostrils hath snuffed the breeze rushing gustily by : 
ShriU-crying around the pools the swallow her flight hath been winging ; 
Their immemorial plaint the frogs in the fen have been singing : 
Tunnelling oft a strait path, forth from her earth-roofed shrines 
The ant hath borne her eggs : the bow, on the cloud as it shines, 380 
Drinks vapour up : the battalion of rooks, from their feeding-ground flying, 
With clashing of wings come thronging, with sound of a multitude crying. 
All manner of deep-sea birds, and the marish-fowl that feed 
Through many a pleasant pool in Cayster's Asian mead — [ing, 385 
Thou shalt see them with showers of spray their shoulders eagerly splash- 
Now meeting the surf with their heads, now into the billows dashing, 
And aimlessly revelling on, as it were in a passion of washing. 
The trumpet-tongued rogue raven shouts to the rain his command. 
And stalks, sole sentinel he of the sea-forsaken sand. 
Yea, even the handmaids, carding the wool in nightlong toil, 390 


Nescivere hiemem, testa cum ardente viderent 
Scintillare oleum et putres concrescere fungos. 

Nee minus ex imbri soles et aperta serena 
Prospicere et certis poteris cognoscere signis : 

Nam neque turn stellis acies obtunsa videtur, 395 

Nee fratris radiis obnoxia surgere Luna, 
Tenuia nee lanae per caelum vellera ferri ; 
Non tepidum ad solem pennas in litore pandunt 
Dilectae Thetidi alcyones, non ore solutos 

Immundi meminere sues iactare maniplos. 400 

At nebulae magis ima petunt campoque recumbunt, 
Solis et occasum servans de culmine summo 
Nequiquam seros exercet noctua cantus. 
Apparet liquido sublimis in acre Nisus, 

Et pro purpureo poenas dat Scylla capillo : 405 

Quacumque ilia levem fugiens secat aethera pennis, 
Ecce inimicus atrox magno stridore per auras 
Insequitur Nisus ; qua se fert Nisus ad auras, 
Ilia levem fugiens raptim secat aethera pennis. 

Tum liquidas corvi presso ter gutture voces 410 

Aut quater ingeminant, et saepe cubilibus altis, 
Nescio qua praeter solitum dulcedine laeti. 
Inter se in foliis strepitant ; iuvat imbribus actis 
Progeniem parvam dulcesque revisere nidos : 

Haud equidem credo, quia sit divinitus illis 415 

Ingenium aut rerum fato prudentia maior ; 
Verum ubi tempestas et caeli mobilis humor 
Mutavere vias et luppiter uvidus Austris 

Denset erant quae rara modo, et quae densa relaxat, 

Vertuntur species animorum, et pectora motus 420 

Nunc alios, alios dum nubila ventus agebat, 

Concipiunt : hinc ille avium concentus in agris, 

Et laetae pecudes et ovantes gutture corvi. 
Si vero solem ad rapidum lunasque sequentes 

Ordine respicies, numquam te crastina fallet 425 

Hora, neque insidiis noctis capiere serenae. 

Luna, revertentes cum primum colhgit ignes. 

Si nigrum obscuro comprenderit aera cornu, 

Maximus agricolis pelagoque parabitur imber : 

At si virgineum suffuderit ore ruborem, 430 


Foresee the storm, when they mark in the burning lamp the oil 

Sputter and flash, and a shroud around the lamp-wick coil. 

Yea, sunshine too after rain, and the cloudless sky's return 

Canst thou foresee, and by sure and certain tokens discern. [395 

For the sharp spear-points of the stars seem then not dulled to thine eyes. 

Nor appeareth the moon to her brother's rays beholden to rise. 

Nor delicate fleeces of cloud drift over the heaven's face. 

Nor halcyons dear to the Sea-queen expand to the sun's warm rays 

Their wings on the shore ; and swine, the unclean beasts, in their jaws 

Forget to toss to and fro loose wisps of hay and straws. 400 

But the clouds sink down to the hollows, and lie as asleep on the plain. 

Keeping time with the sunset, the owl from her watchtower's height in vain 

Calls through the gloaming, repeating her one monotonous strain. 

High up, a speck in the limpid air, doth Nisus soar, 

And Scylla suffers vengeance for that bright lock that she shore. 405 

Wheresoever she cleaves with her pinions in flight the impalpable air, 

Lo, vengeful, relentless, with hiss of the rushing of wings is he there, 

Nisus, hard on her tracks : when he for his swoop towers high, 

Cleaving impalpable air with wings terror-blown doth she fly. 

Then, as with voices suppressed, do the rooks three times repeat, 410 

Yea, four, their low clear notes : with some strange rapture sweet 

Exulting, again and again amidst their high-buUt bowers [the showers, 

They clamour through screens of leaves : they rejoice, now that past are 

To return to their tiny fledglings again and their happy nests. 

It is not, I trow, that heaven hath implanted within their breasts 415 

Wit more than man's, or Fate foreknowledge of things to be. 

No, but when storm and the sky's ever varying vapour-sea 

Have shifted their channels, and heaven, with the south- wind's burden wet , 

Closes the pores late open, and loosens the erst close-set, [stirred 420 

Then the form of their minds is altered, their breasts with emotions are 

Far other than when the blast drave onward the black cloud-herd. 

Hence cometh the chorus of birds that make meads ring with their notes. 

Hence cometh the joy of the cattle, the rooks' exultant throats. 

But and if thou wilt mark the sun's swift race, and the moons that go 
In procession one after other, thou never shalt fail to foreknow 425 
The morrow, shalt never be duped by a fair night's treacherous show. 
If the moon, as she gathers her fires when anew they return to the sky. 
Have enclosed 'twixt her horns bedimmed a space black utterly, 
For the husbandman and for the seaman are torrents of rain in store : 
But if with a maiden blush her face be mantled o'er, 430 


Ventus erit ; vento semper rubet aurea Phoebe. 

Sin ortu quarto — namque is certissimus auctor — 

Pura neque obtunsis per caelum cornibus ibit, 

Totus et ille dies, et qui nascentur ab illo 

Exactum ad mensem, pluvia ventisque carebunt, 435 

Votaque servati solvent in litore nautae 

Glauco et Panopeae et Inoo Melicertae. 

Sol quoque et exoriens et cum se condet in undas, 

Signa dabit ; solem certissima signa sequuntur, 

Et quae mane refert et quae surgentibus astris. 440 

Ille ubi nascentem maculis variaverit ortum 

Conditus in nubem, medioque refugerit orbe, 

Suspecti tibi sint imbres ; namque urguet ab alto 

Arboribusque satisque Notus pecorique sinister. 

Aut ubi sub lucem densa inter nubila sese 445 

Diversi rumpent radii, aut ubi pallida surget 

Tithoni croceum linquens Aurora cubile, 

Heu male tum mites defendet pampinus uvas ; 

Tam multa in tectis crepitans salit horrida grando. 

Hoc etiam, emenso cum iam decedit Olympo, 450 

Profuerit meminisse magis ; nam saepe videmus 

Ipsius in vultu varies errare colores, 

Caeruleus pluviam denuntiat, igneus Euros. 

Sin maculae incipient rutilo immiscerier igni, 

Omnia tum pariter vento nimbisque videbis 455 

Fervere. Non ilia quisquam me nocte per altum 

Ire, neque a terra moneat convellere funem. 

At si, cum referetque diem condetque relatum, 

Lucidus orbis erit, frustra terrebere nimbis, 

Et claro silvas cernes Aquilone moveri. 460 

Denique, quid vesper serus vehat, unde serenas 

Ventus agat nubes, quid cogitet humidus Auster, 

Sol tibi signa dabit. Solem quis dicere falsum 

Audeat ? Ille etiam caecos instare tumultus 

Saepe monet, fraudemque et operta tumescere bella. 465 

Ille etiam exstincto miseratus Caesare Romam, 

Cum caput obscura nitidum ferrugine texit, 

Impiaque aeternam timuerunt saecu' 'loctem. 

Tempore quamquam illo tellus quoquc et aequora ponti, 

Obscenaeque canes importunaeqiie volucres 470 


Wind Cometh : Phoebe the golden for wind glows red evermore. 

But if on her fourth night's rising — for this is the sign most sure — 

Through the heaven with horns unblunted she rides in radiance pure. 

Then all that day, and its offspring that follow in its train 

On to the end of lie month, shall be free from wind and from rain : 435 

And the shipmen, from peril delivered, shall pay their vows by the sea 

Unto Glaucus, to Ino's son Melicerta, and Panope. 

The sun too — at rising, and when mid the billows his course is run — 

Shall give to thee tokens ; the surest of tokens attend the sun, 

Alike at morning-tide and when stars rise over the earth. 440 

When he blurreth his splendour with fleck and stain at its very birth. 

Cloud-hidden, and out from the midst of his disc his glory flees. 

Then fear thou rain ; for the south-wind, mischief-boding to trees 

And to harvest-fields and to flocks, presseth onward fast from the deep. 

Or when on the verge of daybreak his rays wide-parted leap 445 

Forth through rifts in the clouds, or when from Tithonus' bed 

Pale riseth the Dawn, from the couch with saffron petals spread. 

Ah then for the mellowing grapes will the tendril's shield be frail, 

So thick and fast on the house-roof crackles the arrowy hail. 

This too shall it profit yet more to remember — when now from the sky 450 

He sinks, having traversed his course, full oftentimes then we espy 

Over the face of the sun the changeful colours trail. 

Sea-green giveth warning of rain, flame-red of an easterly gale : 

But if on his ruddy fire dark spots shall begin to lie. 

One seething fury of wind and cloud shall be earth and sky. 455 

Let no man counsel me on a night like that from the land 

To laimch on the deep, nor to pluck from the shore the hawser-band ! 

But if, when at morn he brings and at eventide buries the day. 

His disc shall be clear and bright, thee let no clouds dismay. 

For against the blue shalt thou see the trees in a north-wind sway. 460 

What evening brings at the waning of day, from whence drive fast 

The fairweather clouds on the wind, what plotteth the rain-laden blast, 

Hereof shall the sun give tokens. Who "dares arraign the Sun 

For a liar ? Oft, when rebellion's foot moves stealthily on. 

He warns, and when treason and veiled war onward-surging come. 465 

He too, when Caesar was murdered, had pity on orphaned Rome. 

In lurid gloom did he shroud his face's glory-light. 

Till shuddered a godless world with dread of eternal night. 

Nor he alone — earth too and the sea-plains in that hour. 

Yea, hounds unclean and birds whose shriek hath ominous power, 470 


Signa dabant. Quotiens Cyclopum effervere in agros 

Vidimus undantera niptis fornacibus Aetnam, 

Flammarumque globos liquefactaque volvere saxa I 

Armorum sonitum toto Germania caelo 

Audiit ; insolitis tremuerunt motibus Alpes. 475 

Vox quoque per lucos volgo exaudita silentes 

Ingens, et simulacra modis pallentia miris 

Visa sub obscurum noctis, pecudesque locutae, 

Infandum ! sistunt amnes terraeque dehiscunt, 

Et maestum illacrimat templis ebur, aeraque sudant. 480 

Proluit insano contorquens vertice silvas 

Fluviorum rex Eridanus, camposque per omnes 

Cum stabulis armenta tulit. Nee tempore eodem 

Tristibus aut extis fibrae apparere minaces 

Aut puteis manare cruor cessavit, et altae 485 

Per noctem resonare lupis ululantibus urbes. 

Non alias caelo ceciderunt plura sereno 

Fulgura, nee diri totiens arsere cometae. 

Ergo inter sese paribus concurrere telis 

Romanas acies iterum videre Philippi ; 490 

Nee fuit indignum superis, bis sanguine nostro 

Emathiam et latos Haemi pinguescere campos. 

Scilicet et tempus veniet, cum finibus illis 

Agricola, incurve terram molitus aratro,. 

Exesa inveniet scabra robigine pila, 495 

Aut gravibus rastris galeas pulsabit inanes, 

Grandiaque effossis mirabitur ossa sepulchris. 

Di patrii, indigetes, et Romule Vestaque mater, 

Quae Tuscum Tiberim et Romana Palatia servas, 

Hunc saltem everso iuvenem succurrere saeclo 500 

Ne prohibete. Satis iam pridem sanguine nostro 

Laomedonteae luimus periuria Troiae : 

lam pridem nobis caeli te regia, Caesar, 

Invidet, atque hominum queritur curare triumphos, 

Quippe ubi fas versum atque nefas : tot bella per orbem, 505 

Tam multae scelerum facies : non ullus aratro 

Dignus honos ; squalent abductis arva colonis, 

Et curvae rigidum fakes conflantur in ensem. 

Hinc movet Euphrates, illinc Germania bellum ; 

Vicinae ruptis inter se legibus urbes 510 


Gave token. How oft have we seen the forges where Cyclopes toil 

Burst, and o'er plains 'neath Etna the waves of lava boil 

Whirling up fire-balls and molten rocks like flaming oil I 

Germany heard o'er her skies a thunder of battle roar : 

Shuddered the Alps with earthquake, and shook as never before : 475 

Dim, utter-silent woods heard suddenly far-ringing cries 

As of multitudes : phantoms haggard and pale in wondrous wise [sound — 

In the darkness appeared : from the throats of brutes did a man's voice 

'Twas awful ! — the earth yawned wide, swift rivers stopped spell-bound : 

In temples ivory wept, and bronzes in sweat were drowned. 480 

Poured over his banks Eridanus, monarch of rivers, and whirled 

Whole woods on his madding crest, and o'er all the lowlands hurled 

Herds with their steadings. Nor ceased through all those days of fear 

Dark doom-denouncing threads in the victims' flesh to appear, 

Nor the wells to flow with blood, nor the cities builded on high 485 

To ring through the shuddering night with the howling wolves' long cry. 

Never before from heavens of cloudless blue fell more 

Thunderbolts, never blazed dread comets so oft before. 

No marvel that ranks of Rome by Philippi were seen again 

Clashing with brother-arms in the grapple of battle-strain. 490 

This horror the Gods endured, that our blood should fertilize 

Emathia-land and the far-stretching fields of Haemus twice. 

Ay, and a day shall come, when the yeoman, plying his toil. 

As on those far borders with curved ploughshare he upheaveth the soil. 

Shall hght upon pikes by rust made one red honeycomb : 495 

His ponderous mattock shall clang upon helms filled only with loam ; 

He shall marvelling stare at the giant bones in their rifted tomb. 

Gods of our sires, of our birth-land, Romulus, Mother divine, 

Vesta, who wardest Tiber and Rome's own Palatine, 

That in any wise this our Hero should succour a world laid low 500 

Forbid not ye ! Our blood hath expiated enow 

Troy's broken troth and Laomedon's perjury long ago. 

Long have the halls of the skies, O Caesar, been jealous that we 

Possess thee, and murmur that triumphs of earth should be dear unto thee. 

In a world where right and wrong are reversed, in a world of war, 505 

Of multitudinous forms of crime, whence banished afar 

Is respect for the plough : the yeomen are marched from a mourning land. 

The sickle's gracious curve is reforged to the grim straight brand. 

Here doth Euphrates waken the war, Germania there : 

Treaties are broken by neighbour cities : arms these bear 510 


Arma ferunt ; saevit toto Mars impius orbe ; 
Ut cum carceribus sese effudere quadrigae, 
Addunt in spatia, et frustra retinacula tendens 
Fertur equis auriga, neque audit currus habenas. 


Against those : unnatural strife is raging the whole world o'er. 

'Tis as when through the wide-flung barriers racing chariots pour : 

Lap by lap do they quicken, the driver vainly strains 

At the curb, hurried on by his steeds, neither hearkens the car to the reins,. 



Hactenus arvorum cultus et sidera caeli ; 

Nunc te, Bacche, canam, nee non silvestria tecum 

Virgulta et prolem tarde crescentis olivae. 

Hue, pater o Lenaee ; tuis hie omnia plena 

Muneribus, tibi pampineo gravidus autumno 5 

Floret ager, spumat plenis vindemia labris ; 

Hue, pater o Lenaee, veni, nudataque musto 

Tingue novo mecum direptis crura cothurnis. 

Principio arboribus varia est natura creandis. 
Namque aliae, nullis hominum cogentibus, ipsae lo 

Sponte sua veniunt camposque et flumina late 
Curva tenent, ut molle siler, lentaeque genistae, 
Populus et glauea eanentia fronde salieta ; 
Pars autem posito surgunt de semine, ut altae 

Castaneae, nemorumque lovi quae maxima frondet 15 

Aeseulus, atque habitae Graiis oracula quercus. 
Pullulat ab radiee aliis densissima silva, 
Ut cerasis ulmisque ; etiam Parnasia laurus 
Parva sub ingenti matris se subiicit umbra. 

Hos natura modos primum dedit ; his genus omne 20 

Silvarum fruticumque viret nemorumque sacrorum. 

Sunt alii, quos ipse via sibi repperit usus. 
Hie plantas tenero abscindens de corpore matrum 
Deposuit suleis ; hie stirpes obruit arvo, 

Quadrifidasque sudes, et acuto robore vallos ; 25 

Silvarumque aliae pressos propaginis arcus 
Expectant et viva sua plantaria terra ; 
Nil radicis egent aliae, summumque putator 
Haud dubitat terrae referens mandare cacumen. 
Quin et caudicibus sectis — mirabile dictu — 30 



Thus far of the culture of fields and the stars of the sky have I sung : 
Now sing I, Bacchus, of thee, of the copses thou movest among. 
Of the offspring born of the slowly-growing olive-tree. 
Hither, Lord of the Winepress ! — of bounty lavished by thee 
Here all things are full : heavy-laden the land is in greenness blowing 5 
With autumn tendrils : the winefat foams with lips overflowing — 
Hither, O Lord of the Winepress, come : cast thou aside 
Thy buskins ; with me in the new-spUt juice be thy white Umbs dyed ! 

Manifold be the ways of Nature in bringing her trees to birth : 
There be some that by no compulsion of any man from the earth 10 

Of their own will spring, wide-thronging the plain and the river that strays 
Far-winding, as gently-curving osiers, the broom's lithe sprays. 
The poplar, the willow whose grey shows white in the wind as it sways. 
From seed in the earth dropped some rise up, as the chestnut's tower, 
As Jove's tree, king of the woods where spreadeth its Broad green bower, 15 
And the oak, which of Greeks was accounted an oracle of Jove. 
There sprouts from the roots of others a crowded under-grove, 
As the cherry, the elm ; so likewise the bay in Parnassian glade 
Shelters itself like a child 'neath its mother's ample shade. 
In such mould from the beginning did Nature cast them ; the brood 20 
Of the forest and copse so burgeon, and every hallowed wood. 
There be methods on which by her own path man's experience came : 
One severeth cuttings of trees from the mother's tender frame, 
And setteth in furrows : another grower will earth up a line 
Of root-stocks, stakes four-cleft, or pales to a point cut fine. 25 

WMe some plantations await green arches of layered shoots 
And living nurseries clinging to earth with unsevered roots. 
There be others that need no root, nor the pruner doubts to restore 
To the earth her own, and to trust to her lap top-shoots that he shore. [30 
Nay more, men cleave into truncheons an olive-stem — wondrous to say — 


Truditur e sicco radix oleagina ligno. 
Et saepe alterius ramos impune videmus 
Vertere in alterius, mutatamque insita mala 
Ferre pirum, et prunis lapidosa rubescere corna. 

Quare agite o, proprios generatim discite cultus, 35 

Agricolae, fnictusque feros mollite colendo, 
Neu segnes iaceant terrae. luvat Ismara Baccho 
Conserere, atque olea magnum vestire Taburnum. 
Tuque ades, inceptumque una decurre laborem, 

O decus, o famae merito pars maxima nostrae, 40 

Maecenas, pelagoque volaiis da vela patenti. 
Non ego cuncta meis amplecti versibus opto, 
Non, mihi si linguae centum sint oraque centum, 
Ferrea vox ; ades et primi lege litoris oram ; 

In manibus terrae : non hie te carmine ficto 45 

Atque per ambages et longa exorsa tenebo. 

Sponte sua quae se tollunt in luminis oras, 
Infecunda quidem, sed laeta et fortia surgunt ; 
Quippe solo natura subest. Tamen haec quoque, si quis 
Inserat, aut scrobibus mandet mutata subactis, 50 

Exuerint silvestrem animum, cultuque frequenti 
In quascumque voles artes baud tarda sequentur. 
Nee non et sterilis quae stirpibus exit ab imis, 
Hoc faciet, vacuos si sit digesta per agros : 

Nunc altae frondes et rami matris opacant 55 

Crescentique adimunt fetus, uruntque ferentem. 
lam, quae seminibus iactis se sustulit arbos, 
Tarda venit, seris factura nepotibus umbram, 
Pomaque degenerant sucos oblita priores, 

Et turpes avibus praedam fert uva racemos. 60 

Scilicet omnibus est labor impendendus, et omnes 
Cogendae in sulcum ac multa mercede domandae. 
Sed truncis oleae melius, propagine vites 
Respondent, solido Paphiae de robore myrtus ; 

Plantis et durae coryli nascuntur, et ingens 65 

Fraxinus, Herculeaeque arbos umbrosa coronae, 
Chaoniique Patris glandes ; etiam ardua palma 
Nascitur et casus abies visura marinos. 

Inseritur vero et fetu nucis arbutus horrida, 
Et steriles platani malos gessere valentes ; 70 


And an oil-bearing root from the dry wood soon is pushing its way. 
And we oft see one tree's branches — and none the less will they bear — 
Transferred to another, see grafted apples borne on a pear 
Transformed, see stony cornels with red plums flushing fair. [35 

Come then, learn, yeomen, the training to each tree due from its birth ; 
Make mellow by cvdture meet the wilding fruits of the earth. 
Let the land lie not idle ! O joy to plant with the vine's green pride 
Ismara, clothe with the olive Taburnus' mighty side I 
Come thou, on the steep path speed whereon I have set my feet, 

thou my glory, O more than the half of my fame, as is meet, 40 
Maecenas ! O spread thy flying sails o'er the far sea-line. 

1 look not to compass all this theme in verses of mine : 

Ah no, though a hundred tongues I had, and mouths five-score. 
And an iron voice ! Come, sail by the verge of the uttermost shore, 
With the land close by. I will hold thee not here with fabulous song, 45 
I wiU not in mazes of words detain thee, nor prelude long. 

Such plants as uphft themselves unbidden to borders of day. 
Fruitless indeed, but lusty and strong in their springing are they : 
For under the soil stirs nature's strength. Yet even these. 
If ye graft, or transplant into spade- worked trenches the natural trees, 50 
Cast off their wildwood spirit : by tillage untiring controlled 
Will they foUow thee unreluctant, reshaped as thy will may mould. 
Nay, barren suckers withal, at the parent's base which stand. 
Will do this, so they be planted wide upon clear clean land : 
But now tall frondage and boughs of the mother- tree overgloom 55 

And rob it of fruit as it grows, and blast it in act to bloom. 
Moreover, the tree that springs from seed in the earth's lap laid 
Groweth slowly : thy far-off children's children perchance shall it shade : 
Its fruits degenerate, wholly forgetting the savour they bare. 
And the vine bears clusters unsightly, fit spoil for birds of the air. 60 
In sooth upon all must labour be spent, their characters framed [tamed. 
In the school of the trench, at uncounted cost must their wildness be 
But better in truncheons do olives answer, and vines in layers : 
For the myrtle of Paphos stakes of the heart-wood the grower prepares. 
From slips tough-fibred hazels spring, and the huge ash-trees, 65 

And the trunks broad-shaded whose leaves are the garland of Hercules : 
The Chaonian Father's acorns, the palm-tree's stately daughters 
Are thus bom, yea, and the fir that shall look upon perils of waters. 
Nay more, the shaggy arbute is grafted with babe-slips ta'en 
From the walnut ; vigorous apples are grown on the barren plane. 70 


Castaneae fagus, ornusque incanuit albo 

Flore piri, glandemque sues fregere sub ulmis. 

Nee modus inserere atque oculos imponere simplex : 

Nam qua se medio trudunt de cortice gemmae 

Et tenues rumpunt tunicas, angustus in ipso 75 

Fit nodo sinus : hue aliena ex arbore germen 

Includunt, udoque docent inole^cere libro : 

Aut rursum enodes trunci resecantur, et alte 

Finditur in solidum cuneis via, deinde feraces 

Plantae immittuntur : nee longum tempus, et ingens 80 

Exiit ad caelum ramis felicibus arbos, 

Miraturque novas frondes et non sua poma. 

Praeterea genus haud unum, nee fortibus ulmis, 
Nee salici lotoque, neque Idaeis cyparissis. 

Nee pingues unam in faciem nascuntur olivae, 85 

Orchades et radii et amara pausia baca, 
Pomaque et Alcinoi silvae, nee surculus idem 
Crustumiis Syriisque piris gravibusque volemis. 
Non eadem arboribus pendet vindemia nostris, 

Quam Methymnaeo carpit de palmite Lesbos ; 90 

Sunt Thasiae vites, sunt et Mareotides albae, 
Pinguibus hae terris habiles, levioribus illae ; 
Et passo Psithia utilior, tenuisque Lageos 
Tentatura pedes olim vincturaque linguam ; 

Purpureae preciaeque ; et quo te carmine dicam, 95 

Rhaetica ? Nee cellis ideo contende Falernis. 
Sunt et Aminaeae vites, firmissima vina, 
Tmolius assurgit quibus et rex ipse Phanaeus ; 
Argitisque minor, cui non certaverit ulla 

Aut tantum fluere aut totidem durare per annos. 100 

Non ego te, dis et mensis accepta secundis, 
Transierim, Rhodia, et tumidis, Bumaste, racemis. 
Sad neque quam multae species, nee nomina quae sint. 
Est numerus : neque enim numero comprendere refert ; 
Quem qui scire velit, Libyci velit aequoris idem 105 

Discere quam multae Zephyro turbentur arenae, 
Aut ubi navigiis violentior incidit Eurus, 
Nosse quot lonii veniant ad litora fluctus. 

Nee vero terrae ferre omnes omnia possunt. 
Fluminibus salices crassisque paludibus alni no 


A beech bears chestnuts, a mountain-ash the silver-shine 

Of pear-blossom ; under an elm have acorns been crushed by swine. 

Not one and the same are the methods of grafting and insetting " eyes : " 

For where, pushing forth from the midst of the bark, the soft buds rise, 

And burst their fikny coats, even here in the knot's mid-wood 75 

Is a slit made : deeply in this from an alien tree is a bud 

Enclosed, and the Ufe of the bark and its sap is it taught to share : 

Or again, cut open are knotless stems, and a path cleft there 

With wedges into the heart-wood ; therein doth the gardener place 

Shps of a fruit-bearing tree : thereafter in no long space 80 

With fertile branches a noble tree hath skyward grown. 

And marvels at stranger boughs and fruits that seem not her own. 

Moreover, of no one kind all sturdy ehn-trees are. 
Nor willow, nor lotus, nor cypresses born upon Ida afar ; 
Nor do olives in all their fatness after one pattern grow : 85 

There be round-berried, spindle-berried, and Pausians bitter enow. 
Nor Alcinous' orchards have apples alike, nor the same shoot bears 
Crustumian pears and Syrian, and heavy warden-pears. 
Nor hangs from our nursing-trees the selfsame vintage-fruit 
As Lesbos plucketh away from Methymna's green vine-shoot. 90 

There be vines of Thasos, and vines Mareotic whose grapes are white, 
These for a rich loam meet, and those for a soil more light. 
The Psithian is fitter for raisin- wine, the Lagean is thin. 
Yet nets for the feet and snares for the babbling tongue are therein. 
There be purple grapes and the early : — O Rhaetian, in what high strain 95 
Shall I hymn thee ? Yet vie not with wines that Falernian vaults contain. 
Aminaean vines are there also, whose wines be the soundest of all ; 
Before them the TmoUan and royal Phanaean in reverence fall ; 
And the lesser Argitis : none with the flowing abundance may vie 
Of its juice, nor in strength to last while years on years go by. 100 

Rhodian, dear to the Gods and to banqueters merry with wine. 
Let me pass thee not by, nor Bumastus the heavy-clustered vine. 
But of all the manifold kinds, nay, even of the names they bear. 
No number there is ; yea, even to count them none need care. 
Let who wishes to know them inquire how many grains of sand 105 
Are tossed and whirled by the west-wind over the Libyan land : 
Let him learn, when the east- wind swoops on the ships with maddened roar. 
How many waves on Ionia's sea roll up to the shore. 

Nor in sooth can all lands bear all manner of trees for men. 
By the river the willow is born, and amidst of the miry fen no 


Nascuntur, steriles saxosis montibus orni ; 

Litora myrtetis laetissima ; denique apertos 

Bacchus amat colles, Aquilonem et frigora taxi. 

Aspice et extremis domitum cultoribus orbem 

Eoasqiie domos Arabum pictosque Gelonos : 115 

Divisae arboribus patriae. Sola India nigrum 

Pert ebenum, solis est turea virga Sabaeis. 

Quid tibi odorato referam sudantia ligno 

Balsamaque et bacas semper frondentis acanthi ? 

Quid nemora Aethiopum molh canentia lana, 120 

Velleraque ut foHis depectant tenuia Seres ; 

Aut quos Oceano propior gerit India hicos, 

Extremi sinus orbis, ubi aera vincere summum 

Arboris haud ullae iactu potuere sagittae ? 

Et gens ilia quidem sumptis non tarda pharetris. 125 

Media fert tristes sucos tardumque saporem 

Felicis mali, quo non praesentius ullum, 

Pocula si quando saevae infecere novercae, 

Miscueruntque herbas et non innoxia verba, 

Auxilium venit ac membris agit atra venena. 130 

Ipsa ingens arbos faciemque simillima lauro ; 

Et, si non alium late iactaret odorem, 

Laurus erat : folia haud ullis labentia ventis ; 

Flos ad prima tenax ; animas et olentia Medi 

Ora fovent illo et senibus medicantur anhelis. 135 

Sed neque Medorum silvae, ditissima terra, 
Nee pulcher Ganges atque auro turbidus Hermus 
Laudibus Itahae certent, non Bactra, neque Indi, 
Totaque turiferis Panchaia pinguis arenis. 

Haec loca non tauri spirantes naribus ignem 140 

Invertere satis immanis dentibus hydri, 
Nee galeis densisque virum seges horruit hastis ; 
Sed gravidae fruges et Bacchi Massicus humor 
Implevere ; tenent oleae armentaque laeta. 

Hinc bellator equus campo sese arduus infert ; 145 

Hinc albi, Clitumne, greges et maxima taurus 
Victima, saepe tuo perfusi flumine sacro, 
Romanes ad templa deum duxere triumphos. 
Hie ver adsiduum atque alienis mensibus aestas : 
Bis gravidae pecudes, bis pomis utilis arbos. 150 


The alder ; the barren ashes on rock-strewn mountains grow ; 

Sea-shores are with myrtles gay ; hills bare to the sun's warm glow 

The vine loves ; dear to the yew is the north with its ice and snow. 

Mark how the world to her uttermost bounds is by tillers subdued. 

Unto Araby's morningland homes, to the painted Gelonians rude. 115 

Each several land hath its trees. Black ebony groweth alone 

In India ; only Sabaeans the wand of frankincense own. 

Why should I tell thee the story of balms from an odorous stem 

That ooze ? — of the evergreen thorn which shining berries begem ? 

Why tell of the Aethiop woods all silvered with gossamer wool ? — 120 

What fihny fleeces from leaves the Serians comb and cull ? — 

Of the forests that nigher than all unto Ocean in India grow 

By the uttermost gulf of the world, where no shaft shot from a bow 

Can speed through the highways of air its flight over any tree ? 

Yet deft are the folk of the land in the quiver's mastery. 125 

The citron's sharp sour juice, whose taste long Ungereth, 

Media bears. There is naught more potent to save thee from death, 

Whensoever the cup hath been drugged by a ruthless stepdame's spite, 

And poison-herbs have been mingled with spells of deadly might ; 

Then it comes to thine help, and the baleful venom it drives from thy 

Like a giant laurel the tree is, in outward show the same ; [frame. 130 

And, but for the strange sweet scent wide-flung on the air all round, 

A laurel it were : its leaves can no wind cast to the ground : 

Its flower cleaves close : with its essences Medes are wont to scent 

Rank breath, and relief to the asthma of age thereby is lent. 135 

But neither the Median forests, how rich soever their land. 
Neither Ganges the lovely, nor Hermus cloudy with golden sand. 
With Italy's glories may vie, nor Bactria, no, nor Ind, 
Nor Eldorado, whose incense-dust breathes rich on the wind. 
This land no bulls outsnorting flame ever furrowed, when 140 

Therein had been sown the teeth of the monster Worm of the Fen, 
Nor a harvest hath bristled with helmets and serried spears of men. 
But her burden is heavy fruitage, with blood of the Massic vine 
Is she filled ; she is thronged with olives, she laugheth with herds of kine. 
Here proudly paceth and pranceth the war-steed over the plain : 143 
Thy milk-white cattle, Clitumnus, thy stately buU, to be slain 
On the altar, oft-times bathed in thine hallowing waters, come 
To lead to the high Gods' temples the triumph-processions of Rome. 
Here is eternal spring, and in strange months summer's glow : 
Twice yearly the cattle breed, and the trees with fruit bend low. 150 


At rabidae tigres absunt et saeva leonum 

Semina, nee miseros fallunt aconita legentes. 

Nee rapit immensos orbes per humum, neque tanto 

Squameus in spiram tractu se coUigit anguis. 

Adde tot egregias urbes operumque laborem, 155 

Tot congesta manu praeruptis oppida saxis, 

Fluminaque antiques subter labentia mures. 

An mare qued supra memorem, quodque adluit infra ? 

Anne lacus tantos ? — te, Lari maxime, teque, 

Fluctibus et fremitu adsurgens Benace marine ? 160 

An memorem portus Lucrineque addita claustra 

Atque indignatum magnis stridoribus aequor, 

lulia qua ponto longe sonat unda refuse, 

Tyrrhenusque fretis immittitur aestus Avernis ? 

Haec eadem argenti rives aerisque metalla 165 

Ostendit venis atque auro plurima fluxit. 

Haec genus acre virum, Marsos pubemque Sabellam, 

Adsuetumque male Ligurem, Volscosque verutos 

Extulit ; haec Decios, Marios, magnosque Camillos, 

Scipiadas duros belle, et te, maxime Caesar, 170 

Qui nunc extremis Asiae iam victor in oris 

Inbellem avertis Romanis arcibus Indum. 

Salve, magna parens frugum, Satumia tellus. 

Magna virum : tibi res antiquae laudis et artis 

Ingredior, sanctos ausus recludere fontes, 175 

Ascraeumque cane Romana per oppida carmen. 

Nunc locus arvorum ingeniis, quae robera cuique, 
Quis color, et quae sit rebus natura ferendis. 
Dif&ciles primum terrae coUesque maligni. 

Tenuis ubi argilla et dumosis calculus arvis, 180 

Palladia gaudent silva vivacis elivae. 
Indicio est tractu surgens oleaster eedem 
Plurimus et strati bacis silvestribus agri. 
At quae pinguis humus dulcique uligine laeta, 

Quique frequens herbis et fertilis ubere campus — 185 

Oualem saepe cava mentis cenvalle solemus 
Despicere ; hue summis liquuntur rupibus amnes 
Felicemque trahunt limum — quique editus Austro 
Et filicem curvis invisafm pascit aratris : 
Hie tibi praevalidas elim multoque fluentes 190 


No ravening tigers be there, no ruthless hon-brood ; 

No aconite cheateth the hapless who gather them herbs for food. 

No scale-clad python's measureless coils like lightning sweep 

O'er the earth, nor he gathers his trailing spires for the deadly leap. 

think of all those goodly cities uppiled by the hand 155 
Of toiling man, of the burgs on her scarped cliffs that stand, 

Of the rivers that slide 'neath their walls, the streams of a storied land ! 

Shall I tell of her wave-washed coasts, of her western, her eastern sea. 

Of her far-spread lakes ?— -of thee, O mighty Larius, thee, 

Benacus, whose waves heave sea-like, and roar in stormy glee ? 160 

Shall I tell of thine havens, the barriers set to the Lucrine mere, 

Of the sea with indignant crash of his waters clamouring near, 

Wher» echoes the Julian wave to the back-recoiling sweep [deep ? 

Of the main, and through straits of Avernus flow tides of the Tyrrhene 

Streamlets of silver and ores of copper hath this land showed 165 

In gleaming veins, yea, also with gold hath abundantly flowed. 

She hath reared her a race of heroes, of Marsians, Sabines strong, 

Of the hardship-inured Ligurians, the Volscian spearman-throng, 

Reared many a Decius, Marius, Camillus great in war. 

Reared Scipios battle-steadfast, and thee, her mightiest far, 170 

Conqueror Caesar, who now, where on Asia's far verge foam 

The seas, dost beat back craven Indians from ramparts of Rome. 

Hail, mighty mother of harvests ! Hail, Saturnian soil. 

Mother of Heroes ! Thy story of old renown and of toil 

1 begin. I have dared to unseal the Muses' holy spring, 175 
And the song that Hesiod sang through Roman towns do I sing. 

Now of the characters of diverse soils, of their power. 
Will we speak, of their colours, the fruits they can bear by nature's dower. 
First, then, ground unresponsive, and hill-slopes evil-willed. 
Where lean marl lies, and with pebbles the thorny copses are filled, 180 
Yet joy in plantations of long-lived olives to Pallas dear. 
'Tis a sign thereof when on that same tract groweth far and near 
The oleaster, and fields with its wilding berries are strown. 
But where there is rich soil, gladdened with moisture sweet, overgrown 
With herbage, levels fat with fertility — such as we spy 185 

Oft, where far down 'twixt the mountains cup-like hollows lie, [silted 
And whither from crag-crests streams trickle down, and the drift-mud 
Cometh fertility-laden ; — and land to the south uptilted. 
Which nourisheth wiry ferns that trammel the curved ploughshare. 
Vigorous vines that shall stream with wine enough and to spare 190 


Sufficiet Baccho vites, hie fertilis uvae. 

Hie laticis, qualem pateris libamus et auro, 

Inflavit cum pinguis ebur Tyrrhenus ad aras, 

Lancibus et pandis fumantia reddimus exta. 

Sin armenta magis studium vitulosque tueri, I95 

Aut ovium fetum, aut urentes eulta capellas, 

Saltus et saturi petito longinqua Tarenti, 

Et qualem infelix amisit Mantua campum, 

Pascentem niveos herboso flumine cycnos : 

Non liquidi gregibus fontes, non gramina deenint ; 200 

Et quantum longis carpent armenta diebus, 

Exigua tantum gelidus ros nocte reponet. 

Nigra fere et presso pinguis sub vomere terra, 

Et cui putre solum, — namque hoc imitamur arando — 

Optima frumentis : non ullo ex aequore cernes 205 

Plura domum tardis decedere plaustra iuvencis ; 

Aut unde iratus silvam devexit arator 

Et nemora evertit multos ignava per annos, 

Antiquasque domos avium cum stirpibus imis 

Emit : illae altum nidis petiere relictis, 210 

At rudis enituit impulse vomere campus. 

Nam ieiuna quidem clivosi glarea ruris 

Vix humiles apibus casias roremque ministrat ; 

Et tofus scaber et nigris exesa chelydris 

Creta negant alios aeque serpen tibus agros 215 

Dulcem ferre cibum et curvas praebere latebras. 

Quae tenuem exhalat nebulam fumosque volucres, 

Et bibit humorem et, ciim vult, ex se ipsa remittit, 

Quaeqjie suo semper viridis se gramine vestit, 

Nee scabie et salsa laedit robigine ferrum, 220 

Ilia tibi laetis intexet vitibus ulmos. 

Ilia ferax oleo est, illam experiere colendo 

Et facilem pecori et patientem vomeris unci. 

Talem dives arat Capua et vicina Vesevo 

Ora iugo et vacuis Clanius non aequus Acerris. 225 

Nunc quo quamque modo possis cognoscere dicam. 

Rara sit an supra morem si densa requires, — 

Altera frumentis quoniam favet, altera Baccho, 

Densa magis Cereri, rarissima quaeque Lyaeo, — 

Ante locum capies oculis, alteque iubebis 230 


This soil shall hereafter yield thee : of grapes shall it bear good store, 

Good store of the juice that from golden chalices forth we pour 

When the full-fed Tuscan blows by the altar his ivory horn. 

And on trenchers broad is the steaming flesh of our offerings borne. 

But and if thy desire be rather to kine, and their calves thou wouldst keep. 

Or goats which ruin the vineyard, or fain wouldst breed thee sheep, [195 

Hie thee to glades by Tarentum the fertile stretching afar. 

And to meads such as Mantua lost to her sorrow after the war. 

Which feed the snow-white swans with the grasses that trail in the river. 

There limpid fountains shall fail not thy flocks, nor pasture-grass ever ; 200 

And how much soever the cattle may crop in a long day's space, 

AU this shall the cool dewfall of one short night replace. 

Earth black and seeming-greasy beneath the ploughshare's weight. 

And whose soil is crumbly — for this by ploughing we imitate, — 

Is for corn-crops best, — from no manner of tilth-land shalt thou see 205 

Thy steers to the homestead draw more wains heaped heavily — 

Or the land which the wrathful ploughman hath swept of timber clear. 

And hath felled the trees that have idly stood through many a year. 

And ancient homes of birds by the roots from the earth doth he tear : 

Forsaking their ruined nests they have fled to the heights of the air, 210 

But the plain unfilled ere this is gleaming bright 'neath the share. 

But the hungry gravel-soils on the slope of a hill that lie. 

Dwarf-spurge and rosemary for thy bees shall scarce supply. 

And the rugged tufa and chalk, where the viper hath gnawed her a nest. 

Defy all other lands to furnish the food loved best 215 

Of serpents, and labyrinthine dens for the venomous pest. 

A soil that breathes out phantom mists and a fume hght-flying. 

That drinks in rain and restores it untrenched, of its own wiU drying. 

Which arrayeth itself in a mantle of grass that is green evermore. 

Nor marreth iron with a scurf of salt rust scaling it o'er, 220 

That land shall garland thine elms with the gems of the jubilant vine. 

Of oil shall be prodigal : thou shalt prove it by tillage of thine 

Kindly unto thy flock ; it shall welcome the tusk of the plough. 

Such land rich Capua tills, and the shore 'neath Vesuvius' brow, 

And Clanius ever unkind to Acerrae dispeopled now. 225 

Now wiU I tell how the nature of diverse soils may be known. 
Be it hght or unwontedly stiff that thou seekest for needs of thine own. 
For corn-crops meet is the one, the other shall flow with wine : 
The stiff is for Ceres, the lightest be all for the Lord of the Vine. 
Choose thou a spot with thine eyes, bid sink thee a pit down deep 230 


In solido puteum demitti, omnemque repones 

Rursus humum, et pedibus summas aequabis arenas. 

Si deerunt, rarum, pecorique et vitibus almis 

Aptius uber erit ; sin in sua posse negabunt 

Ire loca et scrobibus superabit terra repletis, 235 

Spissus ager : glaebas cunctantes crassaque terga 

Expecta, et validis terram proscinde iuvencis. 

Salsa autem tellus et quae perhibetur amara, 

Frugibus infelix — ea nee mansuescit arando, 

Nee Baccho genus aut pomis sua nomina servat — 240 

Tale dabit specimen : tu spisso vimine qualos 

Colaque prelorum fumosis deripe tectis ; 

Hue ager ille malus dulcesque a fontibus undae 

Ad plenum calcentur : aqua eluctabitur omnis 

Scilicet, et grandes ibunt per vimina guttae ; 245 

At sapor indicium faciet manifestus, et ora 

Tristia temptantum senso torquebit amaror. 

Pinguis item quae sit tellus, hoc denique pacto 

Discimus : baud umquam manibus iactata fatiscit, 

Sed picis in morem ad digitos lentescit habendo. 250 

Humida maiores herbas alit, ipsaque iusto 

Laetior. Ah, nimium ne sit mihi fertilis ilia, 

Nee se praevalidam primis ostendat aristis ! 

Quae gravis est ipso tacitam se pondere prodit, 

Quaeque levis. Promptum est oculis praediscere nigram, 255 

Et quis cui color. At sceleratum exquirere frigus 

Difficile est : piceae tantum taxique nocentes 

Interdum aut hederae pandunt vestigia nigrae. 

His animadversis, terram multo ante memento 
Excoquere et magnos scrobibus concidere montes, 260 

Ante supinatas Aquiloni ostendere glaebas, 
Ouam laetum infodias vitis genus. Optima putri 
Arva solo : id venti curant gelidaeque pruinae 
Et labefacta movens robustus iugera fossor. 

Ac si quos baud uUa viros vigilantia fugit, 265 

Ante locum similem exquirunt, ubi prima paretur 
Arboribus seges, et quo mox digesta feratur, 
Mutatam ignorent subito ne semina matrem. 
Ouin etiam caeli regionem in cortice signant, 
Ut quo quaeque modo steterit, qua parte calores 270 


In ground unbroken ; thereafter throw back all that heap 

Of mould thereinto, and trample the surface down of the pit. 

If it sink below the brim, for the gracious vine is it fit 

And for pasture ; but if it refuse to return to its place again, 

And when thou hast filled thy trench a mound of earth remain, 235 

For a stiff soil's stubborn clods and for massive ridges prepare, 

And strong be the steers that shall cleave that tilth-land with the share. 

But land that is salt — " sour land " the yeoman accounteth the same — 

Is for crops unmeet ; no ploughing its evil nature may tame, 

Nor grapes grown there nor fruits will answer true to their name. 240 

Now this is the sign thereof : pluck down from thy smoke-grimed roof 

Baskets and straining-sieves of the plaited osier tough ; 

These fiU with the evil soU, and with fountain-water sweet 

Soak it, and tread down. All that water from 'neath thy feet [245 

Shall struggle in great drops forth, and out through the wickerwork press : 

And its savour shall give clear token, shall warp with loathing's stress 

The mouths of such as essay to taste its bitterness. 

What soil moreover is fat by this device do we know : 

It breaks not apart when tossed from hand to hand to and fro, [250 

But in fashion of pitch to the fingers it cleaves when they deal with it so. 

On damp soil taller the weeds are, and all too rankly grow. 

Ah, not by excess of fertility thus be my land betrayed, 

Nor with over-lusty life may it quicken the new-born blade ! 

By the silent test of weight what soil is heavy is learned. 

Or what is hght. By thine eyes black soil at a glance is discerned, 255 

Yea, the colours of all. But of blasting cold the traces be few 

In a soil : yet sometimes there pitch-pines and the baleful yew. 

Or the dark-leaved ivy's spreading fingers shall lend thee a clue. 

Note all these things, and bethink thee betimes in the sun to dry 

Thy land, with trenches and furrows to score the hill-slopes high, 260 

And to lay the upturned clods all bare to the north- wind cold, 

Ere thou plant the vine's glad children. Fields of crumbling mould 

Be the best : the wind and the chill frost work to render them so 

With the brawny delver who tosseth and stirreth the earth to and fro. 

Nay, men who will let slip no device of watchful care 265 

Choose out betimes a place, and prepare them a nursery there 

Of soil like that where the vines shall soon be orderly ranged. 

Lest the babe-trees recognise not the mother suddenly changed. 

Nay, even the quarters of heaven do men on the young bark score. 

That, according as each tree faced, which side soever bore 270 


Austrinos tulerit, quae terga obverterit axi, 

Restituant : adeo in teneris consuescere multum est. 

Collibus an piano melius sit ponere vitem, 

Quaere prius. Si pinguis agros metabere campi. 

Densa sere ; in denso non segnior ubere Bacchus ; 275 

Sin tumulis adclive solum coUesque supinos, 

Indulge ordinibus ; nee setius omnis in unguem 

Arboribus positis secto via limite quadret. 

Ut saepe ingenti bello cum longa cohortes 

Explicuit legio, et campo stetit agmen aperto, 280 

Directaeque acies, ac late fluctuat omnis 

Acre renidenti tellus, necdum horrida miscent 

Proelia, sed dubius mediis Mars errat in armis : 

Omnia sint paribus numeris dimensa viarum ; 

Non animum mode uti pascat prospectus inanem, 285 

Sed quia non aliter vires dabit omnibus aequas 

Terra, nee in vacuum poterunt se extendere rami. 

Forsitan et scrobibus quae sint fastigia quaeras : 
Ausim vel tenui vitem committere sulco. 

Altior ac penitus terrae defigitur arbos, 290 

Aesculus in primis, quae quantum vertice ad auras 
Aetherias, tantum radice in Tartara tendit ; 
Ergo non hiemes illam, non flabra neque imbres 
Convellunt : immota manet, multosque nepotes, 

Multa virum volvens durando saecula vincit. 295 

Tum fortis late ramos et bracchia pandens 
Hue illuc, media ipsa ingentem sustinet umbram. 

Neve tibi ad solem vergant vineta cadentem ; 
Neve inter vites corylum sere ; neve flagella 

Summa pete, aut summa defringe ex arbore plantas, — 300 

Tantus amor terrae — neu ferro laede retunso 
Semina ; neve oleae silvestres insere truncos : 
Nam saepe incautis pastoribus excidit ignis. 
Qui, furtim pingui primum sub cortice tectus, 

Robora comprendit, frondesque elapsus in altas 305 

Ingentem caelo sonitum dedit ; inde secutus 
Per ramos victor perque alta cacumina regnat, 
Et totum involvit flammis nemus, et ruit atram 
Ad caelum picea crassus caligine nubem, 
Praesertim si tempestas a vertice silvis 310 


The heat of the south, and turned its back to the northern pole. 
So they might plant it, so poteot is early habit's control! 

If on hills or on level ground thy vine-rows better shall stand 
Ask thyself first. For a fertile plain if thy vineyard be planned, 
Plant closely ; from vines set tlaick no scantier harvests we reap. 275 
But on sloping ground of knolls and on hillsides couched as in sleep 
Give ample space to the ranks : yet still each alley of vines [lines. 

Must be planned with angles squared, must be drawn with straight-ruled 
As often in strife Titanic when legions in long array 
Deploy their cohorts, and columns are ranged in the plain for the fray, 280 
Drawn out is the battle-line ; like a billowy sea earth shows 
As the bronze flashes back to the sun, nor as yet do the grim fronts close 
In the grapple, but wavers the War-god as doubtful between two foes. 
Let alleys in equal measurement meted to all be assigned. 
Not merely to pleasure the eye, nor for joy of a vacant mind ; 285 

But only thus impartially earth upon aU will bestow [throw. 

Of her strength, and through clear air-space their branches the vines will 

Thou woTildst haply inquire what depth and dip to a trench we grant. 
A vine in never so shallow a furrow I fearlessly plant ; 
But deeper-set is the tree, is rooted in earth far down, 290 

The oak above all : as high to the heaven as it lifteth its crown 
Through the air, so deeply its roots through the darkness Hadesward go ; 
And so no wintry storms, no rains, no blasts that blow 
Can upwrench it : unmoved it abides, sees children's children die 
Through long generations of men as the victor years roll by. 295 

He spreadeth his arms in his strength and his boughs on every side. 
And his central tower upbears a forest of shade flung wide. 

See that thou let not thy vineyards slope to the dying day, 
Nor plant thou the hazel between the vines, neither prune away 
The highest shoots, nor break from the tree any topmost spray, — 300 
So strong is their love of earth, — neither bruise the tender bud 
With a blunt knife : plant not between them truncheons of wild olive- 
For oftentimes by the heedless shepherd is dropped a spark [wood ; 

Which, stealthily hiding at first beneath the oily bark, 
Layeth hold on the heart-wood : forth over leaf and spray doth it glide, 305 
Till loudly it crackles skjrward : along the boughs doth it ride 
Victorious, and stretcheth from tree-top to tree-top its sceptre of fire, 
Wraps aU the plantation in flames, and streams ever thicker and higher 
Uptossing an eddying cloud of pitchy gloom to the sky ; 
Then chiefly, if on the forest a tempest have swooped from on high, 310 


Incubuit, glomeratque ferens incendia ventus. 
Hoc ubi, non a stirpe valent caesaeque reverti 
Possunt atque ima similes revirescere terra : 
Infelix superat foliis oleaster amaris. 

Nee tibi tarn prudens quisquam persuadeat auctor 3i5 

Tellurem Borea rigidam spirante moveri. 
Rura gelu turn claudit hiemps ; nee semine iacto 
Concretam patitur radicem affigere terrae. 
Optima vinetis satio, cum vere rubenti 

Candida venit avis longis invisa colubris, 320 

Prima vel autumni sub frigora, cum rapidus Sol 
Nondum hiemem contingit equis, iam praeterit aestas. 
Ver adeo frondi nemorum, ver utile silvis ; 
Vere tument terrae et genitalia semina poscunt. 

Turn pater omnipotens fecundis imbribus Aether 325 

Coniugis in gremium laetae descendit, et omnes 
Magnus alit magno commixtus corpore fetus. 
Avia turn resonant avibus virgulta canons, 
Et Venerem eertis repetunt armenta diebus ; 

Parturit almus ager, Zephyrique tepentibus auris 330 

Laxant arva sinus ; superat tener omnibus humor , 
Inque novos soles audent se germina tuto 
Credere, nee metuit surgentes pampinus Austros 
Aut actum caelo magnis Aquilonibus imbrem, 

Sed trudit gemmas et frondes explieat omnes. 335 

Non alios prima crescentis origine mundi 
Inluxisse dies aliumve habuisse tenorem 
Crediderim : ver illud erat, ver magnus agebat 
Orbis, et hibernis parcebant flatibus Euri, 

Cum primae lucem pecudes hausere, virumque 340 

Ferrea progenies duris caput extulit arvis, 
Immissaeque ferae silvis et sidera caelo. 
Nee res hunc tenerae possent perferre laborem, 
Si non tanta quies iret frigusque ealoremque 
Inter, et exciperet caeli indulgentia terras. 345 

Quod superest, quaecumque premes virgulta per agros 
Sparge fimo pingui, et multa memor occule terra, 
Aut lapidem bibulum aut squalentes infode conchas : 
Inter enim labentur aquae, "tenuisque subibit 
Halitus, atque animos tollent sata. lamque reperti, 350 


And a great wind rolleth and sweepeth the conflagration on. 
Thereafter the ttee-stocks have no strength ; their power is gone, 
Though ye cut them back, of reviving, of springing green from the ground 
As before : oleaster barren and bitter reigns all round. [the share 315 

Hold no man so wise that his counsel should move thee to break with 
The frost-stiffened earth when the north-wind is breathing death through 
Then winter prisons the land in ice ; yea, seed may ye fling, [the air. 

But he suffereth not the frost-numbed root to the earth to cling. 
'Tis the vine's best planting-season, when cometh in spring's blush-glow 
The radiant snow-white bird, the long-backed viper's foe ; 320 

Or hard on the Fall's first chill, when the fiery-footed team 
Of the sun not yet touch winter, when summer fleets as a dream. 
With blessing to woodland-frondage and forest Spring returns. 
In spring earth heaves with desire, for the seed life-laden she yearns : 
Then Heaven, the Father almighty, in quickening showers descends 325 
Into the lap of his gladsome bride : in his might he blends 
With her mighty frame, and to all her offspring life doth he bring ; 
Then pathless copses with music of birds re-echoing ring ; 
And the beasts are rekindled with love in the days ordained of the Spring. 
The land with her boons is in travail, to west-winds warmly blowing 330 
Fields open their arms ; aU things are with delicate sap overflowing. 
In the suns new-born all seedlings safely and fearlessly trust. 
No vine-shoot dreadeth the south-wind's suddenly rising gust. 
Or the rain-storm that over the sky the mighty north-wind hurls : 
But each pushes gem-buds forth, and her green leaf-banners unfurls. 335 
None other, I fain would believe, were the sunlit days that began 
In the dawn of the infant creation, nor other the course that they ran. 
Ah, that was a spring indeed ! Spring's festival-tide was kept 
By the whole world's round : aU wintry blasts of the east-wind slept 
When the first-born cattle drank in like wine the sunlight, and stood 340 
With heads erect on the earth's firm floor man's iron brood. 
Wild things were let loose in the forests, stars blossomed in fields of the sky. 
Those soft young lives 'neath their burden of toil would faint and die. 
Had not so blessed a restful space 'twixt cold been given [345 

And heat, and earth been embraced by the grace and the mercy of Heaven. 

For the rest, whatsoever plantations throughout thy lands thou wilt set. 
To spread rich dung and to bury it deeply thou shalt not forget, 
Nor to dig in porous stone or the sea-shell rugged of scale ; 
For the rains will sink between them, and phantom vapours exhale. 
And so shall the slips take courage : and ere now men have I known 350 


Qui saxo super atque ingentis pondere testae 
Urguerent : hoc effusos munimen ad imbres. 
Hoc, ubi hiulca siti findit Canis aestifer arva. 

Seminibus positis, superest diducere terram 
Saepius ad capita, et duros iactare bidentes, 355 

Aut presso exercere solum sub vomere, et ipsa 
Flectere luctantes inter vineta iuvencos ; 
Turn leves calamos et rasae hastilia virgae 
Fraxineasque aptare sudes furcasque valentes, 

Viribus eniti quarum et contemnere ventos 360 

Adsuescant, summasque sequi tabulata per ulmos. 

Ac dum prima novis adolescit frondibus aetas, 
Parcendum teneris, et dum se laetus ad auras 
Palmes agit laxis per purum immissus habenis. 

Ipsa acie nondum falcis temptanda, sed uncis 365 

Carpendae manibus frondes, interque legendae. 
Inde ubi iam validis amplexae stirpibus ulmos 
Exierint, turn stringe comas, turn bracchia tonde : 
Ante reformidant ferrum ; tum denique dura 
Exerce imperia, et ramos compesce fluentes. 370 

Texendae saepes etiam et pecus omne tenendum, 
Praecipue dum frons tenera imprudensque laborum ; 
Cui super indignas hiemes solemque potentem 
Silvestres uri adsidue capreaeque sequaces 

Inludunt, pascuntur oves avidaeque iuvencae. 375 

Frigora nee tantum cana concreta pruina 
Aut gravis incumbens scopulis arentibus aestas, 
Quantum illi nocuere greges durique venenum 
Dentis et admorso signata in stirpe cicatrix. 

Non aliam ob culpam Baccho caper omnibus aris 380 

Caeditur, et veteres ineunt proscaenia ludi, 
Praemiaque ingeniis pagos et compita circum 
Thesidae posuere, atque inter pocula laeti 
Mollibus in pratis unctos saluere per utres. 

Nee non Ausonii, Troia gens missa, coloni 385 

Versibus incomptis ludunt risuque solute, 
Oraque corticibus sumunt horrenda cavatis, 
Et te, Bacche, vocant per carmina laeta, tibique 
Oscilla ex alta suspendunt mollia pinu. 
Hinc omnis largo pubescit vinea fetu, 390 


To press them down 'neath the weight of a massy tile or a stone. 
This they devised for a screen against wide-streaming rain, 
Or the Dogstar's heat, when gapeth with thirsty hps the plain. 

When the seedhngs are set, it remaineth again and again to throw 
The mounded earth to their crowns, and to swing the stubborn hoe, 355 
Or to labour the ground with the deep-driven share, and to wheel to and fro 
Thy straining steers between thy vines, through row after row. 
And, again, to fit smooth reeds together, and wand-shafts peeled, 
And ashwood staves, and props whose forked heads wiU not yield, [360 
By the strength whereof they shall upward strain, and shall learn to despise 
The winds, and from story to story of those elm-towers shall rise. 

In the growing-time of the early youth of the young green things, 
Be to their tenderness gentle, and while the glad shoot springs 
Upward, as though sped on loose-reined through cloudless air, 
Not yet with the edge of the pruning-hook be it touched, but with care 365 
Pluck away with thy fingers the shoots, and thin the foliage there. 
Then, when they have clasped the elm with wiry trailer and stem. 
And have shot up, strip their tresses, and lop the arms of them. 
TUl then do they dread the steel, but now at the last do thou raise 
Authority's standard, and crush the rebehion of trailing sprays. 370 

Thou must weave for thee hurdles, and barriers of these against all sheep 
While the tender leaf of the labours awaiting it dreams not yet, [set. 
Nor how worse than unmerited storms or than tyrannous suns are the roes 
Persistently trespassing : out of the woods come buffaloes 
To mock its endeavours : sheep wiU make it their grazing-ground, 375 
And greedy heifers. Nor winter with hoary frost hard-bound, 
Nor summer, on scorched rocks heavily brooding, do such despite 
To the vine, as the flocks, for their poisonous teeth with a pestilence smite 
The plants : there is death in the scar that is left on the stem by their bite. 
For none other crime on the Wine-god's altar the goat do they slay, 380 
What time on the stage steps forth the immemorial play. 
And through village and hamlet the sons of Theseus ordain the prize 
For the contest of wits, and blithe of heart from the wine-cup rise 
To dance on the wine-skin oiled, on the mead's soft grass which lies, [mained. 
And Ausonia's yeomen, whose sires were the remnant from Troy that re- 
With uncouth verses sport and with laughter unrestrained. 
They don misfeatured masks of the hollowed bark of the tree. 
And in pauses of jubilant song, O Bacchus, they call upon thee ; 
And soft babe-faces of thee do they hang from the lofty pine. 
Herefrom with »abundant increase bloometh ever the vine ; 390 


Complentur vallesque cavae saltusque profundi, 

Et quocumque deus circum caput egit honestum. 

Ergo rite suum Baccho dicemus honorem 

Carminibus patriis, lancesque et liba feremus, 

Et ductus cornu stabit sacer hircus ad aram, 305 

Pinguiaque in veribus torrebimus exta colurnis. 

Est etiam ille labor curandis vitibus alter, 
Cui numquam exhausti satis est : namque omne quotannis 
Terque quaterque solum scindendum, glaebaque versis 
Aeternum frangenda bidentibus, omne levandum 400 

Fronde nemus. Redit agricolis labor actus in orbem, 
Atque in se sua per vestigia volvitur annus. 
Ac iam olim, seras posuit cum vinea frondes, 
Frigidus et silvis Aquilo decussit honorem, 

lam turn acer curas venientem extendit in annum 405 

Rusticus, et curvo Saturni dente relictam 
Persequitur vitem attondens fingitque putando. 
Primus humum fodito, primus devecta cremate 
Sarmenta, et vallos primus sub tecta referto ; 

Postremus metito. Bis vitibus ingruit umbra, 410 

Bis segetem densis obducunt sentibus herbae ; 
jDurus uterque labor : laudato ingentia rura, 
Exiguum colito. Nee non etiam aspera rusci 
Vimina per silvam et ripis fluvialis arundo 

Caeditur, incultique exercet cura salicti. 415 

lam vinctae vites, iam falcem arbusta reponunt, 
lam canit effectos extremus vinitor antes : 
Sollicitanda tamen tellus, pulvisque movendus, 
Et iam maturis metuendus luppiter uvis. 

Contra non ulla est oleis cultura ; neque illae 420 

Procurvam exspectant falcem rastrosque tenaces, 
Cum semel haeserunt arvis aurasque tulerunt ; 
Ipsa satis tellus, cum dente recluditur unco, 
Sufficit humorem et gravidas cum vomere fruges. 
Hoc pinguem et placitam Paci nutritor olivam. 425 

Poma quoque, ut primum truncos sensere valentes 
Et vires habuere suas, ad sidera raptim 
Vi propria nituntur opisque baud indiga nostrae. 
Nee minus interea fetu nemus omne gravescit, 
Sanguineisque inculta rubent aviaria bacis. 430 


And filled is the cup-like valley, the mountain-cradled dell. 

Wheresoever the God's sweet face turns, casting fertility's spell. 

Meetly therefore the honour to Bacchus due will we sing 

In hymns ancestral, the platters of cakes unto him will we bring : 

And led by the horns shall the doomed he-goat by the altar stand, 395 

And on hazelwood spits fat inwards shall broil o'er the blazing brand. 

For the care of thy vines remaineth withal that other toil 
Whereon no labour expended sufEiceth ; for all the soil 
Must thrice and four times yearly be ploughed, and ever and aye 
With the swinging mattock the clods must be broken, and stripped away 
The leaves' excess. The husbandman's toil is an endless round [400 
Ever renewed as the feet of the year are on old tracks found. 
Ay, even when vines have cast late-lingering leaves to the ground. 
And the chiU North strippeth the woods of their crown of glory bare ; 
Even then is the tireless yeoman onward stretching his care 405 

To the coming year, presses onward with Saturn's curving biU 
To lop the leafless vine, and by pruning shape to his will. 
Be the first to dig the soil, be the first on the balefire to cast 
Waste loppings, and first to house vine-props when the vintage is past ; 
But be latest to gather the grapes. Twice yearly the shade thickens close, 
Twice yearly with thistle and thorn the weed-growth smothers the rows : 
Sore toil both lay upon thee. Ay, dream broad acres be good. 
But few do thou till ! Moreover, the rough broom-sprays in the wood 
Must be cut, and the reed on the bank beside the river's flow : 
And the osier-bed, albeit untilled, needs care enow. 415 

At last are the vines tied up, the pruning-knife drops from the hand. 
The last vinedresser sings o'er the rows that finished stand — [red. 

Yet rest cometh not ; the soil must be humoured, the mould must be stir- 
And in fancy the rush of the rain on the ripened clusters is heard. 

Contrariwise, no need have olives of culture ; they 420 

Nor look for the pruning-hook's sweep, nor the mattock's unyielding sway. 
When once they are rooted in earth, and have stood the rush of the air. 
The earth herself, when her breast is laid by the curved plough bare, 
Giveth moisture in plenty, the touch of the share breeds heavy increase. 
So shalt thou nurture the olive whose fatness is dear unto Peace. 425 

Orchard-trees too, so soon as they feel through their stems strength rise. 
And have gotten them vigour, upward swiftly, as seeking the skies, 
By their own power climb, and they have no need of human aid. 
Nor less with fruit are the boughs of all woods earthward weighed ; 
Wild haunts of birds are flushing with berries red as blood : 430 


Tondentur cytisi, taedas silva alta ministrat, 

Pascunturque ignes nocturni et lumina fundunt. 

Et dubitant homines serere atque impendere curam ? 

Quid maiora sequar ? Salices humilesque genistae 

Aut illae pecori frondem aut pastoribus umbram 435 

Sufficiunt, saepemque satis et pabula melli. 

Et iuvat undantem buxo spectare Cytorum 

Naryciaeque picis lucos, iuvat arva videre 

Non rastris, hominum non uUi obnoxia curae. 

Ipsae Caucaseo steriles in vertice silvae, 44° 

Quas animosi Euri adsidue franguntque feruntque, 

Dant alios aliae fetus, dant utile lignum 

Navigiis pinos, domibus cedrumque cupressosque. 

Hinc radios trivere rotis, hinc tympana plaustris 

Agricolae, et pandas ratibus posuere carinas. 445 

Viminibus salices, fecundae frondibus ulmi. 

At myrtus validis hastilibus et bona bello 

Cornus ; Ituraeos taxi toiquentur in arcus. 

Nee tiliae leves aut torno rasile buxum 

Non formam accipiunt ferroque cavantur acuto. 450 

Nee non et torrentem undam levis innatat alnus 

Missa Pado ; nee non et apes examina condunt 

Corticibusque cavis vitiosaeque ilicis alvo. 

Quid memorandum aeque Baccheia dona tulerunt ? 

Bacchus et ad culpam causas dedit ; ille furentes 455 

Centauros leto domuit, Rhoecumque Pholumque 

Et magno Hylaeum Lapithis cratere minantem. 

fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint, 
Agricolas, quibus ipsa procul discordibus armis 

Fundit humo facilem victum iustissima tellus ! 460 

Si non ingentem foribus domus alta superbis 
Mane salutantum totis vomit aedibus undam. 
Nee varios inhiant pulchra testudine postes, 
Inlusasque auro vestes Ephyreiaque aera, 

Alba neque Assyrio fucatur lana veneno, 4(^5 

Nee casia liquidi corrumpitur usus olivi ; 
At secura quies et nescia fallere vita. 
Dives opum variarum, at latis otia fundis, 
Speluncae, vivique lacus, at frigida Tempe, 
Mugitusque boum, mollesque sub arbore somni 470 


Mown is the cytisus, torches are given by the tall pine-wood, 

And the nightlong fires are fed ; far streams their ruddy glare. 

And hesitate men to plant and to lavish on trees all care ? 

Why dwell on the great trees only ? — the osier, the lowly broom [435 

Yield leaves for the flock and the shepherd with cool shade overgloom : . 

Hedges for crops they supply, and they pasture the honey-bees. 

Fain would I gaze on Cytorus' biUows of dark box-trees, 

On groves of Narycian pine : full fain over fields would I gaze 

That owe no debt to the mattock, nor any of mortal race ! 

Yea, even the fruitless forests high upon Caucasus' crest, 440 

Which the furious east-winds shatter and toss to and fro without rest. 

Give each what he beareth ; wood for the service of man they bestow, 

Give pines for the ships, and for dwellings the cedar and cypress they grow. 

From one do the husbandmen turn wheel-spokes, from one solid wheels 

For wains, from another they lay for the ships long curving keels. 445 

Withs spring from the hazels, in leafage the elm-trees fruitful are. 

In strong spear-shafts the myrtle and cornel trusty in war. 

Bent are the limbs of the yew into Ituraean bows : 

On the linden smooth and on lathe-turned box such form we impose 

As we will, and the steel of the chisel hollows the yielding wood. 450 

Yea, also the alder-trunk swims light on the rushing flood 

Sped down the Po ; yea, also the bees hide swarm and comb 

Deep in the caverned bark or the heart of a mouldering holm. 

What boons more worthy of praise doth Bacchus' bounty bestow ? 

Nay, Bacchus hath given occasion for blame : it was he laid low 455 

The Centaurs in death, and Rhoecus, to hell sped Pholus' soul, 

Slew Hylaeus in act to hurl at the Lapiths the huge wine-bowl. 

Ah, knew they their happiness, all too favoured the yeomen are, 
They for whom earth most righteous, from clash of arms afar, [460 

Fromi the soil doth outlayish ungrudged for aU Ufe's needs of her store ! 
What though no stately mansion through lordly portals pour 
Morning by morning a sea of clients from court and hall. 
Nor with parted hps on the cloudy shell upon door-posts tall 
Men gaze, nor on vests gold-broidered, nor bronzes from Ephyre's strand, 
Nor on white wool dyed with the poison-drug of Morning-land, 465 

Nor by casia spoiled oil-olive from lawful service is banned. 
But theirs is the peace unharassed, the life that has nothing to hide, 
That has manifold store, the restfulness of landscapes wide. 
Dim caverns and spring-fed meres, cool Tempe's whispering glade. 
Slumbrous lowing of cattle, and balmy sleep 'neath the shade, 470 


Non absunt ; illic saltus ac lustra ferarum, 
Et patiens operum exiguoque adsueta iuventus, 
Sacra deum, sanctique patres : extrema per illos 
lustitia excedens terris vestigia fecit. 

Me vero primum dulces ante omnia Musae, 475 

Quarum sacra fero ingenti percussus amore, 
Accipiant, caelique vias et sidera monstrent, 
Defectus solis varies, lunaeque labores ; 
Unde tremor terris, qua vi maria alta tumescant 

Obicibus ruptis rursusque in se ipsa residant, 480 

Quid tantum Oceano properent se tinguere soles 
Hiberni, vel quae tardis mora noctibus obstet. 
Sin, has ne possim naturae accedere partes, 
Frigidus obstiterit circum praecordia sanguis, 

Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes ; 485 

Flumina amem silvasque inglorius. O ubi campi 
Spercheosque et virginibus bacchata Lacaenis 
Taygeta ! o qui me gelidis convallibus Haemi 
Sistat, et ingenti ramorum protegat umbra ? 

Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas, 490 

Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum 
Subiecit pedibus strepitumque Acherontis avari ! 
Fortunatus et ille, deos qui novit agrestes, 
Panaque Silvanumque senem Nymphasque sorores. 
Ilium non populi fasces, non purpura regum 495 

Flexit et infidos agitans discordia fratres, 
Aut coniurato descendens Dacus ab Histro, 
Non res Romanae perituraque regna : neque ille 
Aut doluit miserans inopem aut invidit habenti. 

Quos rami fructus, quos ipsa volentia rura 500 

Sponte tulere sua, carpsit, nee ferrea iura 
Insanumque forum aut populi tabularia vidit. 
Sollicitant alii remis freta caeca, ruuntque 
In ferrum, penetrant aulas et limina regum ; 

Hie petit excidiis urbem miserosque penates, 505 

Ut gemma bibat et Sa:rrano dormiat ostro ; 
Condit opes alius, defossoque incubat auro ; 
Hie stupet attonitus Rostris ; hunc plausus hiantem 
Per cuneos geminatus enim plebisque patrumque 
Corripuit ; gaudent perfusi sanguine fratrum, 510 


All, aJl are there — ^wood-lawns and coverts where wild things lie, 
Men that are strong to labour, are hardened to poverty. 
There Gods are worshipped, there age is revered. Or ever she passed 
From earth, amid these folk Justice imprinted her footfalls last. 

But chiefly me may the Muses, to me above all things dear, 475 

Who have thrilled me with deep strong love, whose sacred things I bear, 
Receive, show the highways of heaven, the stars, tell wherefore at noon 
The sun dies, wherefore in travail is darkened the face of the moon. 
Whence cometh the quaking of earth, by what force heave deep seas 
Dashing their barriers down, and thereafter sink to peace, 480 

Why hasten so swiftly the suns of winter to quench their heat 
In ocean, what hindrance trammels the night's slow-trailing feet. 
But and if I may not draw near great Nature's mysteries, [freeze. 

For that clogged is mine heart with the blood whose channels around it 
Dear to me then be the fields, be the streams through the valleys that flow. 
My fameless love upon rivers be set, and on forests : — and oh [485 

For the low-lying meads by Spercheius, for revels of Spartan maids 
On Taygetus ! Oh were I standing mid Haemus' cool green glades. 
That he covered mine head with the Titan shield of his forest-shades ! 
Oh happy, whose heart hath attained Creation's secret to know, 490 
Who hath trampled all haunting fears underfoot, nor dreadeth the blow 
Of Fate the relentless, the roar of insatiate Acheron's flow ! 
Oh favoured is he who knoweth the Gods of the green wild land, 
The Lords of the Forest and Grove, and the Nymphs, their sister-band ! 
He stoops not to consuls' axes, he bows not to purple of kings, 495 

He recks not of hate that the hearts of faithless brethren wrings, [descend, 
Nor of leagues by the Danube, or Dacians that down from their mountains 
Nor hath trembled for Rome's dark fortune, for empires nigh to their end. 
No poverty sees he to pity, no rich men to envy for aught. [500 

He hath gathered the fruits of the tree-bough, the willing tribute brought 
By the fields, he hath seen no statutes as iron unyielding-wrought. 
Nor hath looked on the madding Forum, the archives destiny-fraught. 
Others may tempt with oars the printless sea, may fling 
Their hves to the sword, may press through portals and halls of a king. 
This traitor hath ruined his country, hath blasted her homes, thereby 505 
To drink from a jewelled chalice, on Orient purple to lie : 
That fool hoards up his wealth, and broods o'er his buried gold : 
That simple-one gazes rapt on the rostra : the loud cheers rolled 
Down the theatre-seats, as Fathers and people acclaiming stood,[blood : 510 
Have entranced yon man : men drench them with joy in their brethren's 


Exsilioque domos et dulcia limina mutant, 

Atque alio patriam quaerunt sub sole iacentem. 

Agricola incurvo terram dimovit aratro : 

Hinc anni labor, hinc patriam parvosque penates 

Sustinet, hinc armenta bourn meritosque iuvencos. 515 

Nee requies, quin aut pomis exuberet annus 

Aut fetu pecorum aut Cerealis mergite culmi, 

Proventuque oneret sulcos atque horrea vincat. 

Venit hiemps : teritur Sicyonia baca trapetis, 

Glande sues laeti redeunt, dant arbuta silvae : 520 

Et varies ponit fetus autumnus, et alte 

Mitis in apricis coquitur vindemia saxis. 

Interea dulces pendent circum oscula nati. 

Casta pudicitiam servat domus, ubera vaccae 

Lactea dimittunt, pinguesque in gramine laeto 525 

Inter se adversis luctantur cornibus haedi. 

Ipse dies agitat festos, fususque per herbam. 

Ignis ubi in medio et socii cratera coronant, 

Te libans, Lenaee, vocat, pecorisque magistris 

Velocis iaculi certamina ponit in ulmo, 530 

Corporaque agresti nudant praedura palaestrae. 

Hanc olim veteres vitam coluere Sabini, 

Hanc Remus et frater, sic fortis Etruria crevit 

Scilicet, et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma, 

Septemque una sibi muro circumdedit arces. 535 

Ante etiam sceptrum Dictaei regis, et ante 

Impia quam caesis gens est epulata iuvencis. 

Aureus hanc vitam in terris Saturnus agebat ; 

Necdum etiam audierant inflari classica, necdum 

Impositos duris crepitare incudibus enses. 540 

Sed nos immensum spatiis confecimus aequor, 
Et iam tempus equum fumantia solvere coUa. 



Into exile from home and its sweet, sweet threshold some have gone 
Seeking a country that lieth beneath an ahen sun. [from 

But the husbandman furrows the land with his curved ploughshare ; here- 
Comes the toil of his year ; 'tis the stay of his country and lowly home ; 
It feedeth the herds of his kine and the steers that earn their keep ; 515 
And her fruits without surcease doth the year in his bosom heap. 
With offspring of flocks she dowers him, with sheaves from Ceres' store ; 
With increase she loadeth the furrows, till barns can hold no more. 
Cometh winter — ^the berry of Sicyon crushed in the oil-press streams ; 
Swine troop home fat from the acorns, in woods the arbute gleams. 520 
Fruits manifold autumn lays at his feet : on the rock sun-glowing 
High up is the vintage hanging, to meUow ripeness growing. 
His sweet little children the while around him for kisses cling. 
The home is a stronghold of modesty chaste. To the byre kine bring 
Udders that heavily droop : fat kids on the lush grass play, 525 

As one with another they wrestle with horns in mimic fray. 
Himself upon feast-days resteth : outstretched on the grass-grown ground. 
Where crackles the fire in the midst, and the bowl by his comrades is 
With libations he caheth on thee, O Winefat-lord. On the bark [crowned, 
Of the elm for the swift dart-throwing of shepherds he scoreth a mark ; 530 
And they bare their iron limbs for the rustic wrestlers' strife. 
In far-off days did the olden Sabines Hve such Ufe ; 
So Remus hved, and his brother ; Etruria thus waxed strong 
Of a surety, and Rome became a glory the nations among. 
Of cities alone with a rampart she girdled citadels seven. 535 

Yea, ere the King Dictaean had grasped the sceptre of Heaven, 
Ere an impious race for their banquets of blood the oxen slew. 
Such life as this upon earth King Saturn the Golden knew. 
Nor yet had they heard war-clarions blown, nor hearkened the clang 
Of the forging, when laid on the stubborn anvils the sword-blades rang. 540 
But now in the course have we covered a boundless breadth of plain : 
Time is it from reeking necks of the horses to loosen the rein. 



Te quoque, magna Pales, et te memorande canemus 

Pastor ab Amphryso, vos, silvae amnesque Lycaei. 

Cetera, quae vacuas tenuissent carmine mentes. 

Omnia iam volgata : quis aut Eurysthea durum, 

Aut inlaudati nescit Busiridis aras ? 5 

Cui non dictus Hylas puer, et Latonia Delos, 

Hippodameque, humeroque Pelops insignis eburno, 

Acer equis ? temptanda via est, qua me quoque possim 

Tollere humo victorque virum volitare per era. 

Primus ego in patriam mecum, modo vita supersit, lo 

Aonio rediens deducam vertice Musas ; 

Primus Idumaeas referam tibi, Mantua, palmas, 

Et viridi in campo templum de marmore ponam 

Propter aquam, tardis ingens ubi flexibus errat 

Mincius, et tenera praetexit harundine ripas. 15 

In medio mihi Caesar erit templumque tenebit. 

Illi victor ego et Tyrio conspectus in ostro 

Centum quadriiugos agitabo ad flumina currus. 

Cuncta mihi, Alpheum linquens lucosque Molorchi, 

Cursibus et crude decernet Graecia caestu. 20 

Ipse caput tonsae foliis ornatus olivae 

Dona feram. Iam nunc soUemnes ducere pompas 

Ad delubra iuvat caesosque videre iuvencos ; 

Vel scaena ut versis discedat frontibus, utque 

Purpurea intexti tollant aulaea Britanni. 25 

In foribus pugnam ex auro solidoque elephanto 

Gangaridum faciam victorisque arma Quirini, 

Atque hie undantem bello magnumque fluentem 

Nilum, ac navaU surgentes acre columnas. 

Addam urbes Asiae domitas pulsumque Niphaten 30 



Thee too, great Pales, and Shepherd Amphrysian, worthy our praise. 
You, forests and rivers Lycaean, of you our song will we raise. 
Other themes that had held mere vacant minds with the spell of the bard 
Are by this outworn. Who knows not Eurystheus the tasl^aster hard ? 
Who knows not Busiris' altars damned to eternal shame ? 5 

Who hath heard not of Hylas the Boy ? — of Latonian Delos' fame ? — 
Of Hippodame ? — Pelops in splendour of ivory shoulder who drove 
Furiously ? A path will I try that shall hft me above 
This earth, and from lip to lip of men my triumphant flight 
Will I wing. I first to my fatherland — if I behold life's light 10 

So long — from the Mount Aonian returning, the Muses with me 
Will I lead ; I will bring to thee, Mantua, palms of Araby ; 
And a temple of sohd marble on that green plain will I raise 
By the water, where Mincius broad with lazy winding strays. 
And hath fringed with the softly-bending reed his rippling lane. 15 

In the midst thereof shall be Caesar ; his presence shall fill thy fane. 
In his honour arrayed in the conqueror's Tyrian purple-gleam 
Will I lead a procession of five-score four-horsed cars to thy stream. 
All Greece shall forsake Alpheius' lists and Molorchus' grove [20 

At my summons, shall strive in the race, and with raw-hide fighting-glove. 
Even I, my brows enwreathed with the olive, the conqueror's meed, 
Will bring him my gifts. Even now with exultation I lead ^* 

To his shrine the solemn procession, at altars,j,will see steers bleed, 
See the stage dispart as the scenes swing round, and inwoven there 
See painted Britons the purple tapestry-folds upbear. 25 

At the portals in gold and in solid ivory carved shall be found 
The fight with the sons of the Ganges, and Rome's arms victory-crowned. 
And here, upsurging to war, and with vast flood battleward roaring, 
Nile, and the columns of triumph with prows of bronze upsoaring. 
And cities of Asia subdued, and Niphates, from fight as he fled, 30 


Fidentemque fuga Parthum versisque sagittis, 

Et duo rapta manu diverse ex hoste tropaea 

Bisque triumphatas utroque ab litore gentes. 

Stabunt et Parii lapides, spirantia signa, 

Assaraci proles demissaeque ab love gentis 35 

Nomina, Trosque parens et Troiae Cynthius auctor. 

Invidia infelix Furias amnemque severum 

Cocyti metuet, tortosque Ixionis angues 

Immanemque rotam, et non exsuperabile saxum. 

Interea Dryadum silvas saltusque sequamur 40 

Intactos, tua, Maecenas, haud mollia iussa. 

Te sine nil altum mens incohat ; en age segnes 

Rumpe moras ; vocat ingenti clamore Cithaeron 

Taygetique canes domitrixque Epidaurus equorum, 

Et vox adsensu nemorum ingeminata remugit. 45 

Mox tamen ardentes accingar dicere pugnas 

Caesaris, et nomen fama tot ferre per annos, 

Tithoni prima quot abest ab origine Caesar. 

Seu quis, Olympiacae miratus praemia palmae, 
Pascit equos, seu quis fortes ad aratra iuvencos, 50 

Corpora praecipue matrum legat. Optima torvae 
Forma bovis, cui turpe caput, cui plurima cervix, 
Et crurum tenus a mento palearia pendent ; 
Tum longo nullus lateri modus ; omnia magna, 

Pes etiam ; et camuris hirtae sub cornibus aures. 55 

Nee mihi displiceat maculis insignis et albo, 
Aut iuga detractans interdumque aspera cornu, 
Et faciem tauro propior, quaeque ardua tota, 
Et gradiens ima verrit vestigia cauda. 

Aetas Lucinam iustosque pati hymenaeos 60 

Desinit ante decern, post quattuor incipit annos : 
Cetera nee feturae habilis nee fortis aratris. 
Interea, superat gregibus,dum laeta iuventas. 
Solve mares ; mitte in Venerem pecuaria primus, 

Atque aliam ex alia generando suffice prolem. 65 

Optima quaeque dies miseris mortalibus aevi 
Prima fugit ; subeunt morbi tristisque senectus 
Et labor, et durae rapit inclementia mortis. 
Semper erunt, quarum mutari corpora malis : 
Semper enim refice ac, ne post amissa requiras, 70 


And the Parthian who trusteth in flight and the arrows backward sped ; 

And, wrested from diverse enemies, victory-trophies twain, 

And foes twice led in triumph from either side of the main. 

There Parian marbles, statues that verUy breathe, shall shine ; 

The sons of Assaracus, names of a Jove-descended line, ' 35 

And our forefather Tros, and the Founder of Troy, the Cynthian King, 

And accursed Disloyalty's form at the Furies shuddering. 

At relentless Cocytus, Ixion's wild wheel horribly twined 

With serpents, and Sisj^hus' stone that never the summit shall find. 

Till that day comes, wiU we track the Dryad-haunted glade 40 

And wood, hard task upon me by thee, Maecenas, laid. 

Without thee no high emprise my spirit essays : — fling aside 

All dull delay ! With challenging shouts hath Cithaeron cried, 

Taygetus' hounds, Epidaurus who quelleth steeds with the rein. 

And echo-redoubled the forest's acclaiming rings again. ' 45 

Yet soon will I gird me of Caesar's fiery fights to sing. 

And through years no fewer to bear his renown upon fame's strong wing 

Than divide from Tithonus Caesar, the winter of earth from her spring. 

Whether, ambitious of palms of Olympia, ye fain would rear 
Horses, or oxen strong through tUthland-furrows to shear, 50 

The dams with good heed to their points must ye choose. The best brood- 
Hath a lowering look, coarse head, and a neck that is massive enow, [cow 
And down below her knees from her throat doth the dewlap fall. 
No limit there is to the length of her side, she is huge-framed all. 
Even her feet. She hath horns incurved, ears shaggy with hair. 55 

For her colour — though she be dappled with white flecks — nothing I care. 
Nor care though she spurn the yoke, with her horns push viciously. 
Have a head more like to a bull, and a frame throughout built high, 
While her tail as she paces is sweeping the dust behind her feet. 
The season for service to wedlock, the age for the Travail-queen meet, 60 
Before the tenth year endeth, and entereth in at the fourth. 
Younger or older for calving or ploughing be nothing- worth. 
In the mid-space, while unspent is the lusty youth of the herd. 
Restrain not the males, nay, to Venus's sport be thy cattle upstirred. 
So by breeding replace thou ever the first by a second and third. 65 
Ah me, life's fairest days be ever the first to fly 

From, hapless mortals ! Diseases and dreary eld draw nigh ; [day ! 

Toil wastes them, and stern death's ruthlessness hurries them hence in a 
There will ever be some in thine herd with whose form thou canst not away : 
Then still be recruiting thy stock, lest losses too late thou rue : 70 


Anteveni, et subolem armento sortire quotannis. 

Nee non et pecori est idem delectus equino. 
Tu modo, quos in spem statues submittere gentis, 
Praecipuum iam inde a teneris impende laborem. 

Continue pecoris generosi puUus in arvis 75 

Altius ingreditur et mollia crura reponit ; 
Primus et ire viam et fluvios temptare minantes'"''''"^ ^ 
Audet, et ignoto sese committere ponti, 
Nee vanos horret strepitus. Illi ardua cervix 

Argutumque caput, brevis alvus obesaque terga, 80 

Luxuriatque toris animosum pectus. Honesti 
Spadices glaucique, color deterrimus albis 
Et gilvo. Tum, si qua sonum procul arma dedere, 
Stare loco nescit, micat auribus et tremit artus, 

Collectumque tremens volvit sub naribus ignem. 85 

Densa iuba, et dextro iactata recumbit in armo ; 
At duplex agitur per lumbos spina, cavatque 
Tellurem et solido graviter sonat ungula cornu. 
Talis Amyclaei domitus Pollucis habenis 

Cyllarus et, quorum Graii meminere poetae, 90 

Martis equi biiuges et magni currus Achilli. 
Talis et ipse iubam cervice effudit equina 
Cnniugis adventu pernix Saturnus, et altum 
Pelion hinnitu fugiens implevit acuto. 

Hunc quoque, ubi aut morbo gravis aut iam segnior annis 95 

Deficit, abde domo, nee turpi ignosce senectae. 
Frigidus in Venerem senior, frustraque laborem 
Ingratum trahit, et, si quando ad proelia ventum est, 
Ut quondam in stipulis magnus sine viribus ignis, 

Incassum furit. Ergo animos aevumque notabis 100 

Praecipue ; hinc alias artes, prolemque parentum, 
Et quis cuique dolor victo, quae gloria palmae. 
Nonne vides, cum praecipiti certamine campum 
Corripuere, ruuntque effusi careere currus, 

Cum spes arrectae iuvenum, exultantiaque haurit 105 

Corda pavor pulsans ? illi instant verbere torto 
Et proni dant lora, volat vi fervidus axis ; 
lamque humiles, iamque elati sublime videntur 
Aera per vacuum ferri atque adsurgere in auras ; 
Nee mora nee requies ; at fulvae nimbus arenae no 


Prevent all such ; young lives for thine herd choose yearly anew. 

For thine horse-stud too must thy choice be made with no less heed. 
Yea, such as thou shalt determine to rear as the hope of the breed, 
Upon these from their tenderest youth shalt thou lavish especial pains. [75 
From the first doth the foal of a high-bred stock, as he paceth the plains, 
Lift high his feet, and he plant eth on earth a springy limb. 
Ever he leadeth the way for the rest : no terrors for him 
Hath the threatening torrent ; he trusteth himself to the untried bridge : 
He is scared not at meaningless noises. His neck is a high-arched ridge : 
Clean-cut is his head, full-fleshed is his back, and his barrel short ; 80 
His high-mettled chest is billowy with muscle. The comeher sort 
Be the bay and the grey : of all coats worst be the dun and the white. 
Once more, if from far away arms clash as in grapple of fight, 
He cannot be still, pricks ears, his limbs are quivering, [85 

From his nostrils the volumed breath like smoke from a fire doth he fling. 
He tosseth a dense mane back o'er his rightward shoulder to sweep. 
His spine is a valley between two ridges : his hoofs dint deep 
The earth, and the sohd horn wakes thunder at every leap. 
Such Cyllarus was, who was tamed by the curb of Amyclae's king 
PoUux, and they of whom the Grecian poets sing, 90 

The chariot-pair of Mars, and mighty Achilles' team. 
So hkewise seemed fleet Saturn, when over his neck to stream 
He tossed his mane as his queen drew near, and, fleeing away. 
Filled sky-encountering Pelion's glens with his clarion neigh. 

Htm also. When bowed by disease, or by years made sluggish now, 95 
He fails, pen up ; his inglorious eld indulge not thou. 
Age chills him for Venus's service ; o'er labour vainly wrought 
And thankless, he lingers : if e'er he essay the encounter, for naught 
He rages, as sometimes rushes through stubble a wide-spread fire 
That is strengthless. Note thou therefore the spirit and age of a sire 100 
First, other quahties then, and the strain of his sires, the shame 
Each showed in the hour of defeat, the pride in victory's fame. 
Hast marked not, in headlong-reckless contention tearing o'er 
The plain, the torrent of chariots that forth of the barriers pour, [ing 105 
With the hopes of their drivers at highest, with throbbing eagerness drain- 
The hearts exultant ? Onward with circhng lash are they straining : 
Forward they lean loose-reined : hot axles stormily fly. 
And now low-skimming they glide, now seem they, bounding high, 
To shoot through the empty air, to soar mid the winds on-rolled. 
No stint, no stay ! — ^uptossed is a cloud as of dust of gold. no 


Tollitur, humescunt spumis flatuque sequentum : 

Tantus amor laudum, tantae est victoria curae. 

Primus Erichthonius currus et quattuor ausus 

lungere equos, rapidusque rotis insistere victor. 

Frena Pelethronii Lapithae gyrosque dedere II5 

Impositi dorso, atque equitem docuere sub armis 

Insultare solo et gressus glomerare superbos. 

Aequus uterque labor, aeque iuvenemque magistri 

Exquirunt calidumque animis et cursibus acrem, 

Quamvis saepe fuga versos ille egerit hostes, 120 

Et patriam Epirum referat fortesque Mycenas, 

Neptunique ipsa deducat origine gentem. 

His animadversis instant sub tempus, et omnes 
Impendunt curas denso distendere pingui, 

Ouem legere ducem et pecori dixere maritum ; 125 

Florentesque secant herbas fiuviosque ministrant 
Farraque, ne blando nequeat superesse labori, 
Invalidique patrum referant ieiunia nati. 
Ipsa autem macie tenuant armenta volentes, 

Atque, ubi concubitus primos iam nota voluptas 130 

SoUicitat, frondesque negant et fontibus arcent. 
Saepe etiam cursu quatiunt et sole fatigant. 
Cum graviter tunsis gemit area frugibus, et cum 
Surgentem ad Zephyrum paleae iactantur inanes. 

Hoc faciunt, nimio ne luxu obtunsior usus 135 

Sit genitali arvo et sulcos oblimet inertes, 
Sed rapiat sitiens Venerera interiusque recondat. 

Rursus cura patrum cadere et succedere matrum 
Incipit. Exactis gravidae cum mensibus errant, 

Non illas gravibus quisquam iuga ducere plaustris, , 140 

Non saltu superare viam sit passus et acri 
Carpere prata fuga fluviosque innare rapaces. 
Saltibus in vacuis pascunt et plena secundum 
Flumina, muscus ubi et viridissima gramine ripa, 

Speluncaeque tegant et saxea procubet umbra. 145 

Est lucos Silari circa ilicibusque virentem 
Plurimus Alburnum volitans, cui nomen asilo 
Romanum est, oestrum Graii vertere vocantes, 
Asper, acerba sonans, quo tota exterrita silvis 
Diffugiunt armenta ; furit mugitibus aether 150 


They are wet with the foam and the breath of pursuers following near ; 
So hot is the passion for victory, fame to their hearts so dear. 

Erichthonius first o'er a fourfold team dared cast the band 
Of the yoke, and in speed triumphant above the wheels to stand. 
The Lapiths of Pelethron mounted the back of the charger, and swayed 115 
His course to and fro with the reins, taught riders armour-arrayed 
To bound o'er the earth, curvetting with proudly arching knees. 
Over car-steed and saddle-horse pains alike must be taken ; for these 
The trainers ahke seek youth, high mettle, and speed in the race. 
Though the veteran oft may have held a flying foe in chase, 120 

For his birth-land Epirus may boast, or Mycenae strong under shield. 
Though his Uneage he trace to the charger that Neptune's trident revealed. 

These things men note, and when near is the time, they bestir them : the 
With their utmost endeavour they seek into firm-fleshed fatness to f eed , [steed 
The stallion chosen for chieftain, and named for the mate of the stud. 125 
They mow for him flowering grass, give him drink from the fresh-flowing 
And com, that he fail not of aught that his labour of love requires, [flood, 
And that weakhng sons prove not starved copies of starveling sires, [bring, 
But the brood-mares of purpose by stinting their food unto leanness they 
And so soon as of union's delightsome instinct they feel the sting, 130 
Theyjdeny to them foliage fresh, they drive them back from* the spring, 
Oft shake their frames in the gallop, and tire them in midnoon heat 
When the threshing-floor groans as the flails are heavily lashing the wheat. 
And the chaff is tossed to the west-wind's freshening blast therethrough. 
This do they for fear high hving should dull the service due 135 

Of the field of generation, should smother its furrows asleep 
Which should thirstily swallow the procreant rain, and should hide it deep. 

Now waneth our care for the sires, our care for the dams hath begun. 
When at last they wander in foal, when the tale of the months hath run. 
These let none suffer to pull at the yoke of the ponderous wain, 140 

Nor to clear at a bound the highway, in fiery race to strain 
Far over the meadow-land, nor in rushing floods to be swimming. 
Upon treeless lawns let them graze, and beside slow brooks full-brimming. 
Where the moss billows softly, the bank is in deepest greenness arrayed. 
By caves be they sheltered, and overscreened by the rocks' cool shade. 145 

By Silarus' groves and Alburnus green with his holm-oaks tall 
A winged thing swarms, which the sons of Rome the " asilus " call, 
But the Greeks to the selfsame pest a new name, " oestrus," have given, 
It is fierce, harsh-buzzing ; before it whole herds panic-driven [the air, 150 
Flee wide through the forests ; with bellowings maddened and stunned is 


Concussus silvaeque et sicci ripa Tanagri. 

Hoc quondam monstro horribiles exercuit iras 

Inachiae luno pestem meditata iuvencae. 

Hunc quoque, nam mediis fervoribus acrior instat, 

Arcebis gravido pecori, armentaque pasces - 155 

Sole recens orto aut noctem ducentibus astris. 

Post partum cura in vitulos traducitur omnis ; 
Continuoque notas et nomina gentis inurunt, 
Et quos aut pecori malint submittere habendo, 

Aut aris servare sacros, aut scindere terram 160 

Et campum horrentem fractis invertere glaebis. 
Cetera pascuntur virides armenta per herbas. 
Tu quos ad studium atque usum formabis agrestem, 
lam vitulos hortare, viamque insiste domandi, 

Dum faciles animi iuvenum, dum mobilis aetas. 165 

Ac primum laxos tenui de vimine circles 
Cervici subnecte ; dehinc, ubi libera coUa 
Servitio adsuerint, ipsis e torquibus aptos 
lunge pares, et coge gradum conferre iuvencos ; 

Atque illis iam saepe rotae ducantur inanes 170 

Per terram, et summo vestigia pulvere signent ; 
Post vaUdo nitens sub pondere faginus axis 
Instrepat, et iunctos temo trahat aereus orbes. 
Interea pubi indomitae non gramina tantum 

Nee vescas salicum frondes ulvamque palustrem, 175 

Sed frumenta manu carpes sata ; nee tibi fetae 
More patrum nivea implebunt mulctraria vaccae, 
Sed tota in dulces consument ubera nates. 

Sin ad bella magis studium turmasque feroces, 
Aut Alphea'rotis praelabi ilumina Pisae, 180 

Et lovis in luco currus agitare volantes, 
Primus equi labor est, animos atque arma videre 
Bellantum, lituosque pati, tractuque gementem 
Ferre rotam, et stabulo frenos audire sonantes ; 

Tum magis atque magis blandis gaudere magistri 185 

Laudibus et plausae sonitum cervicis amare. 
Atque haec iam prime depulsus ab ubere matris 
Audeat, inque vicem det mollibus era capistris 
Invalidus etiamque tremens, etiam inscius aevi. 
At tribus exactis ubi quarta accesserit aestas, 190 


And the woods, and the banks of waterless Tanager everjrwhere. 
With this horror did Juno wreak her hideous vengeance of yore, 
When for Inachus' daughter, the Heifer-maid, she had ruin in store. 
From this, which attacks most fiercely when noonday heat is at height. 
Thou wilt shield the teeming herd, wilt let them graze when the light 
Of the sun is but newly risen, or stars usher in the night. 

When the calves have come to the birth, all care is to them transferred. 
Men brand them with ownership's mark, with the name of their strain, from 
Choose which they \viU rear for breeding the hope of a coming day, [the herd 
Or for sacrifice consecrate, or set to cleave the clay 160 

Till the furrowed field shows hke to a roughly ridging sea : 
The rest in great herds pasture along the grassy lea. 
Such as for work thou wilt fashion, to bring forth labour's fruit. 
While yet they are calves, do thou school, and on discipline's path set foot. 
While docile their young minds are in the first year's pliant days. 165 
At the first with loose light rings of the osier's slender sprays 
Do thou loop their necks ; thereafter, when shoulders aforetime free 
Are to thraldom used, let well-matched couples be yoked of thee 
With those same collars, and trained to step on side by side. 
In drawing of wains unladen now let them oft be tried, 170 

When but lightly marked is the track o'er the surface-dust of the plain. 
Ere long 'neath a mighty load may the beechen axle strain 
And shriek, and the brass-bound shaft shall drag the twinned wheels on. 
Ere then, for their untamed youth thou shalt mow not grass alone, 
Nor starvehng sprays of willow, nor bladed sedge of the fen, 175 

But green corn plucked with thine hand. Nor the mothers shalt thou 
In olden fashion to brim the milk-pails white as snow : [cause then 

But all their udders' wealth on their dear babes let them bestow. 

But if thy desire be to fiery squadrons and grapple of war. 
Or to ghde by Alpheius' Pisan streams on the wheels of the car, 180 

And the flying chariot in Jupiter's hallowed grove to speed. 
In beholding the fury of fight the training begins of the steed. 
In enduring the clarion's peal, and in bearing the rushing din 
Of wheels, and in hearing the jinghng of harness his stall within ; 
Then, more and more to dehght in kindly tones and praise 185 

Of his lord, and to love the caressing hand on his neck that plays. 
Thus far let him venture when first he is weaned from the mother's teat : 
In due course then with his mouth the halter soft shall he meet. 
While short of his full strength, starting with all youth's ignorant fear. 
But when summers three shall be past, when now the fourth is here, igo 


Carpere mox gyrum incipiat gradibusque sonare 

Compositis, sinuetque alterna volumina crunim, 

Sitque laboranti similis ; turn cursibus auras, 

Turn vocet, ac per aperta volans ceu liber habenis 

Aequora vix siimma vestigia ponat arena ; 195 

Qualis Hyperboreis Aquilo cum densus ab oris 

Incubuit, Scythiaeque hiemes atque arida differt 

Nubila : turn segetes altae campique natantes 

Lenibus horrescunt flabris, summaeque sonorem 

Dant silvae, longique urguent ad litora fluctus ; 200 

Ille volat simul arva fuga, simul aequora verrens. 

Hinc vel ad Elei metas et maxima campi 

Sudabit spatia, et spumas aget ore cruentas, 

Belgica vel moUi melius feret esseda coUo. 

Tum demum crassa magnum f arragine corpus 205 

Crescere iam domitis sinito : namque ante domandum 

Ingentes toUent animos, prensique negabunt 

Verbera lenta pati et duris parere lupatis. 

Sed non ulla magis vires industria firmat, 
Quam Venerem et caeci stimulos avertere amoris, 210 

Sive boum sive est cui gratior usus equorum. 
Atque ideo tauros procul atque in sola relegant 
Pascua post montem oppositum et trans flumina lata, 
Aut intus clauses satura ad praesepia servant. 

Carpit enim vires paulatim uritque videndo 215 

Femina, nee nemorum patitur meminisse nee herbae — 
Dulcibus ilia quidem inlecebris, — et saepe superbos 
Cornibus inter se subigit decernere amantes. 
Pascitur in magna Sila formosa iuvenca : 

Illi alternantes multa vi proelia miscent 220 

Volneribus crebris ; lavit ater corpora sanguis, 
Versaque in obnixos urguentur cornua vasto 
Cum gemitu ; reboant silvaeque et longus Olympus. 
Nee mos bellantes una stabulare, sed alter 

Victus abit, longeque ignotis exsulat oris, 225 

Multa gemens ignominiam plagasque superbi 
Victoris, tum, quos amisit inultus, amores ; 
Et stabula aspectans regnis excessit avitis. 
Ergo omni cura vires exercet, et inter 
Dura iacet pernox instrato saxa cubili, 230 


In the ring let him learn to curvet, beat time with measured pace, 

And one after other to curve his Hmbs in arches of grace, 

And to show hke a worker indeed. Then, then let him challenge the blast 

Of the wind to the race ; as uncurbed by the rein, o'er the plain flying fast. 

Scarce let him print with his footfalls the face of the level sand ; 195 

As when Aquilo dark with the cloud-pack comes from the far north-land 

Down-swooping, and Scythia's storms and rainless clouds are hurled 

Before him ; the tall corn-crops, the billowy water-world 

Are with hght gusts rippled and ruffled, the crests of the forest sigh. 

And shoreward the long sea-rollers are crowding tumultuously ; 200 

Over field, over flood wide-sweeping his pinions onward strain. 

Hereafter to goals of Olympia, o'er limitless reaches of plain, [flecked. 

Sweat-bathed shall the steed race, fling from his mouth the foam blood- 

Or the Belgian chariot the better shall speed on docile-necked. 

Then at the last with fattening mash do thou suffer his frame 205 

To wax great, now he is broken in ; for, ere one tame 

Their spirit, their mettle is high, they will scorn, when the task ye essay, 

To submit to the phant lash, and the merciless curb to obey. 

Howbeit no tendance wiU stablish more surely his strength and his fire 
Than to shield him from Venus's frenzy, from stings of blind desire, 210 
Whether one's heart be set on the training of cattle or steeds. 
Therefore men banish the bull unto far lone pasture-meads, 
Beyond some mountain-barrier, some broad-flowing river's sweep. 
Or they pen him within four waUs, and his manger abundantly heap. 
By the sight of the female slowly his strength is consumed and decayed, 215 
And he cannot endure to think of the grass nor the woodland glade — 
So winsome is her allurement — and oft will jealousy drive 
Those haughty lovers with clashing horns in contention to strive. 
The beauteous heifer is grazing on Sila's mountain-height ; 
But the buUs in alternate onset crash with giant might, 220 

And with wound upon wound : their frames are bathed in the dark blood's 
With levelled horns each thrusteth against his struggling foe [flow : 

With thunderous bellowing ; echo the woods and the broad-arched sky. 
Nor together the rivals are wont to stall them : the vanquished wiU fly 
From the field, and will pass into exile afar amid scenes unknown, 225 
And for shame and the blows of the haughty victor shall oft-times groan. 
Yea, more for his loss unavenged, and for anguish of thwarted desire. 
Old realms hath he left, oft backward gazing at stall and byre. 
Therefore with ceaseless training he disciplines his powers : 
On a hard rock-couch uncushioned he Ues through the long night-hours:230 


Frondibus hirsutis et carice pastus acuta, 

Et temptat sese, atque irasci in cornua discit 

Arboris obnixus trunco, ventosqiie lacessit 

Ictibus, et sparsa ad pugnam proludit arena. 

Post, ubi collectum robur viresque refectae, 235 

Signa movet, praecepsque oblitum fertur in hostem ; 

Fluctus uti, medio coepit cum albescere ponto, 

Longius ex altoque sinum trahit, utque volutus 

Ad terras immane sonat per saxa, neque ipso 

Monte minor procumbit, at ima exaestuat unda 240 

Vorticibus nigramque alte subiectat arenam. 

Omne adeo genus in terris hominumque ferarumque, 
Et genus aequoreum, pecudes pictaeque volucres. 
In furias ignemque ruunt : amor omnibus idem. 

Tempore non alio catulorum oblita leaena 245 

Saevior erravit campis, nee funera volgo 
Tam multa informes ursi stragemque dedere 
Per silvas ; tum saevus aper, turn pessima tigris ; 
Heu male tum Libyae solis erratur in agris. 

Nonne vides, ut tota tremor pertemptet equorum 250 

Corpora, si tantum notas odor attulit auras ? 
Ac neque eos iam frena virum, neque verbera saeva, 
Non scopuli rupesque cavae atque obiecta retardant 
Flumina correptosque unda torquentia montes. 

Ipse ruit dentesque SabeUicus exacuit sus, 255 

Et pede prosubigit terram, fricat arbore costas, 
Atque hinc atque illinc humeros ad volnera durat. 
Quid iuvenis, magnum cui versat in ossibus ignem 
Durus amor ? nempe abruptis turbata proceUis 

Nocte natat caeca serus freta ; quem super ingens 260 

Porta tonat caeli, et scopulis inlisa reclamant 
Aequora ; nee miseri possunt revocare parentes, 
Nee moritura super crudeli funere virgo. 
Quid lynces Bacchi variae et genus acre luporum 

Atque canum ? quid, quae inbelles dant proelia cervi ? 265 

Scilicet ante omnes furor est insignis equarum ; 

Et mentem Venus ipsa dedit, quo tempore Glauci ^ 

Potniades malis membra absumpsere quadrigae. 
lUas ducit amor trans Gargara transque sonantem 
Ascanium ; superant montes et flumina tranant. 270 


Upon prickly leaves he feedeth, he croppeth the sword-like sedge : 
He testeth his strength, he learneth to set his fury's edge 
On his horns, as he thrusts at a tree, and assails the air with blows, 
And the sand, as in prelude to battle, his spurning hoof up-throws. [born 
At last, when his powers are upgathered, at last, when his strength is re- 
He breaks camp ; headlong he swoops on the foe that forgat him in scorn. 
Like a billow he comes, that upheaves in the outsea a crest white-flashing. 
Drags broader-swelUng a curve from the deep, and on-roUing and crashing 
Shoreward, through reefs it roars terrific, and down on the land [240 
Topples huge as a mountain, while whirlpool-abysses boil over the strand 
Up-belching out of the depths of darkness the swart sea-sand. 

Yea, all — all tribes of earth, all men, all cattle-herds. 
Wild beasts of the forest, the brood of the sea, plume-painted birds. 
Into flames of passion rush ; all hearts are in one net taken. 
At none other time doth the lioness, even her whelps forsaken, 245 

More savagely prowl o'er the plains, nor shag-haired formless bears 
Spread death and destruction more widely around their forest-lairs. 
Most fierce is the boar, most fell is the tigress in those mad days. 
Ah, it is ill for him then who in Libya's solitudes strays I [250 

Hast marked not with what wild thriU the steed's whole frame will shake. 
At the first gust wafted to him of the odour he cannot mistake ? 
Then him no curbs of men nor merciless whips may delay, 
Neither rocks nor cUffs overarching, nor rivers that bar his way [play. 
Though they tear up mountains and whirl them adown in their waves' wild 
On charges the Sabine boar, and he whets his tusks for the fray, 255 
Ploughs up with his feet the ground, and chafes against a tree 
His sides, and either shoulder against wounds hardeneth he. 
What of the youth, when Love the relentless fans in his breast 
A great flame ? He, though the tempest burst, though in wild unrest 
Waves toss, through the starless night belated he swims, while crash 260 
Thunders from heaven's huge gate : great seas, on the rocks as they dash. 
Shout, warning him thence : yea, his wretched parents in vain to him cry 
" Return ! " and the maiden doomed on his woeful pyre to die. 
What of the Wine-god's dappled lynx ?— of the scourge of the wold, 
The wolf ? — of the hound ? — of the battles of stags unwarlike-souled ? 265 
But pre-eminent surely beyond the rest is the rage of the mare. 
'Twas the frenzy inspired by a Goddess, when Potniae's car-team tare 
And devoured the limbs of Glaucus in Venus's vengeance-day. 
Over Gargara's steep, over roaring Ascanius hurried are they 
By passion ; they scale the mountain, they swim the rushing river. 270 


Continuoque avidis ubi subdita flamma medullis, — 

Vere magis, quia vere calor redit ossibus — illae 

Ore omnes versae in Zephyrum stant rupibus altis, 

Exceptantque leves auras, et saepe sine uUis 

Coniugiis vento gravidae — mirabile dictu — 275 

Saxa per et scopulos et depressas convalles 

Diffugiunt, non, Eure, tuos, neque solis ad ortus, 

In Borean Caurumque, aut unde nigerrimus Auster 

Nascitur et pluvio contristat frigore caelum. 

Hie demum, hippomanes vero quod nomine dicunt 280 

Pastores, lentum destillat ab inguine virus, 

Hippomanes, quod saepe malae legere novercae, 

Miscueruntque herbas et non innoxia verba. 

Sed fugit interea, fugit inreparabile tempus. 
Singula dum capti circumvectamur amore. 285 

Hoc satis armentis : superat pars altera curae, 
Lanigeros agitare greges hirtasque capellas. 
Hie labor, hinc laudem fortes sperate coloni. 
Nee sum animi dubius, verbis ea vincere magnum 

Quam sit, et angustis hunc addere rebus honorem ; 290 

Sed me Parnasi deserta per ardua dulcis 
Raptat amor ; iuvat ire iugis, qua nulla priorum 
Castaliam molli devertitur orbita clivo. 
Nunc, veneranda Pales, magno nunc ore sonandum. 

Incipiens stabulis edico in mollibus herbam 295 

Carpere oves, dum mox frondosa reducitur aestas, 
Et multa duram stipula felicumque maniplis 
Sternere subter humum, glacies ne frigida laedat 
Molle pecus, scabiemque ferat turpesque podagras. 

Post hinc digressus iubeo frondentia capris 300 

Arbuta sufficere et fluvios praebere recentes, 
Et stabula a ventis hiberno opponere soli 
Ad medium conversa diem, cum frigidus olim 
lam cadit extremoque inrorat Aquarius anno. 

Hae quoque non cura nobis leviore tuendae, '305 

Nee minor usus erit, quamvis Milesia magno 
VeUera mutentur Tyrios incocta rubores : 
Densior hinc suboles, hinc largi copia lactis ; 
Quam magis exhausto spumaverit ubere mulctra, 
Laeta magis pressis manabunt flurhina mammis. 310 


Soon as their eager fibres witla thrills of its wildfire quiver, — 

Chiefly in spring, when their inward flame is to new life fanned, — 

On the brow of a towering chff all westward-facing stand. 

And they snuff the unsubstantial breeze, and it oft doth betide 

That unmated — a marvel to tell ! — by the wind are they fructified. 275 

Then over crag, over scaur, over deep-dipping valleys they fly 

Scattering, not to the east-wind's birth, nor the dayspring-sky. 

But to north or to north-west bound, or thither where utter-black 

Uprises the south overglooming the sky with his chill cloud-rack. 

Then, then that viscid slime trickles down from the groins of these 280 

Which only is rightly named of the shepherds hippomanes — 

Hippomanes, gathered oft by stepdames on mischief bent. 

And with baleful herbs and with muttered spells most deadly blent. 

But the time meanwhile is fleeting, is fleeting past recall, 
While we hover around each flower of the field that holds us in thraU. 285 
For the herds let this suffice ; remaineth my second care 
To deal with the fleece-laden sheep, with the goats of shaggy hair. 
Here truly is toil ; yet hence, stout yeomen, look for renown. 
I mistake not how hard is the task to set triumphantly down 
My precepts in verse, and so lowly a theme with honour to crown. 290 
But o'er steeps of Parnassus untrod in a rapture I speed afar : 
It is joy to traverse the heights where no forerunner's car [spring. 
Hath followed the track down the smooth-falling slope unto Castaly's 
Now, Pales worship-worthy, in stately strain must I sing. 

I ordain at the outset that sheep in sheltered pens should feed 295 
TDl leafy summer — 'twill not be long — come back to the mead, [spread 
With abundance of straw and with handfuls of fern be the hard ground 
Beneath, that the icy cold may strike not up through their bed 
To the tender flock, bringing scab and the foot-rot foul to see. 
Now pass I on, and I bid thee cast from the arbute-tree 300 

Leaves to thy goats in plenty, and water fresh from the brook. 
Turn from the wind their pens, to the winter sun let them look 
Facing the midnoon sky, when Aquarius cold and drear 
At last is setting, and sprinkles the skirts of the flying year. 
With no less care must we shield these too in the stormy tide ; 305 

Nor our profit of these shall be less — yea, fleeces Milesian dyed 
In purple of Tyre be exchanged for a princely price, I know ; 
Yet from goats more abundant increase, of milk a stintless flow 
Is won ; and the fuller the milk-pails foam, when their udders ye drain,. 
The richer the flood shall stream when ye press the teats again. 31a 


Nee minus interea barbas incanaque menta 

Cinyphii tondent hirci saetasque comantes 

Usum in castrorum et miseris velamina nautis. 

Pascuntur vero silvas et summa Lycaei 

Horrentesque rubos et amantes ardua dumos : 315 

Atque ipsae memores redeunt in tecta, suosque 

Ducunt, et gravido superant vix ubere limen. 

Ergo omni studio glaciem ventosque nivales, 

Quo minor est illis curae mortalis egestas, 

Avertes, victumque feres et virgea laetus 320 

Pabula, nee tota claudes faenilia bruma. 

At vero Zeph3rris cum laeta vocantibus aestas 

In saltus utrumque gregem atque in pascua mittet, 

Luciferi primo cum sidere frigida rura 

Carpamus, dum mane novum, dum gramina canent, 325 

Et ros in tenera pecori gratissimus herba. "i 

Inde ubi quarta sitim caeli collegerit hora 

Et cantu querulae rumpent arbusta cicadae, 

Ad puteos aut alta greges ad stagna iubebo 

Currentem ilignis potare canalibus undam ; 330 

Aestibus at mediis umbrosam exquirere vallem, 

Sicubi magna lovis antiquo robore quercus 

Ingentes tendat ramos, aut sicubi nigrum 

Ilicibus crebris sacra nemus accubet umbra ; 

Tum tenues dare rursus aquas et pascere rursus 335 

Solis ad occasum, cum frigidus aera vesper 

Temperat, et saltus reficit iam roscida luna, 

Litoraque alcyonem resonant, acalanthida dumi. 

Quid tibi pastores Libyae, quid pascua versu 
Prosequar et raris habitata mapalia tectis ? 340 

Saepe diem noctemque et totum ex ordine mensem 
Pascitur itque pecus longa in deserta sine ullis 
Hospitiis : tantum campi iacet. omnia secum 
Armentarius Afer agit, tectumque laremque 

Armaque Amyclaeumque canem Cressamque pharetram ; 345 

Non secus ac patriis acer Romanus in armis 
Iniusto sub fasce viam cum carpit, et hosti 
Ante expectatum positis stat in agmine castris. 
At non, qua Scythiae gentes Maeotiaque unda, 
Turbidus et torquens flaventes Hister arenas, 350 


Moreover, the shepherds shear the beard and the reverend chin 
Of the goat of Cinyphian breed ; of his long coarse hair they spin 
Tents for the camp, and storm-scourged mariners cloak them therein. 
Through forests, o'er heights Arcadian they pasture, and not as the sheep. 
But the thorny bramble they crop, and the thickets that love the steep, 315 
And undriven forget not home to return, and their kids they bring. 
And their burdened udders over the threshold scarce can they swing. 
Little of man's care need they, but this let them fail not to find : 
Thou with all diUgence screen them from frost and the snow-laden wind. 
Be bounteous in bringing them fodder, be leaf -laden branches supplied, 320 
And bar not against them thy hayloft through all the winter-tide. 
But when at the call of the west- wind jubilant summer shall speed 
Forth to the woodland-glade the goats, the sheep to the mead. 
With the morning-star's first gleam to the pastures cool let us pass. 
Let us range them, while young is the morning, while overpearled is the 
When the dew on the tender herb is unto the flock most sweet, [grass, 325 
Thereafter, when heaven's fourth hour hath gathered thirst from the heat, 
And cicadas are rending the copse as their song's wild wail they repeat. 
Then will I bid that thy flock by the well or the deep clear pool 
Drink from the hollowed ilex the running water cool. 330 

But in midnoon heat seek out some leaf-shadowed deU for them, 
Where Jove's huge oak from the immemorial strength of his stem 
Outstretcheth giant arms, or where, with the thronging holm 
Darkened, the grove like a sleeper heth in hallowed gloom. [graze 335 
Then give them again of the thin-threaded stream, and again let them 
Till set of the sun, when the gloaming-tide's cool breath allays 
The feverous air, when the dew-dripping moon requickens the glade, 
When the shores with the halcyon ring, with the warbler the copse's shade. 
What need of the shepherds of Libya, what need of their pastures to tell 
In song ? — of the widely-scattered hamlets wherein they dwell ? 340 
Oft nightlong, daylong, yea, through a whole month, day after day 
Pasture their flocks, far-roaming the waste land's trackless way 
Never folded ; before them he such hmitless plains. His all 
That Afric herdman carries with him — the sheltering wall 
Of his home, his wolf-hound warder of sheep, his quiver and bow. 345 
The vaHant Roman, arrayed in ancestral arms, even so 
Plods on and on 'neath his tjnrannous knapsack-burden ; and lo. 
Ere they look for him, pitched is his camp, and his columns face the foe. 
Far other it is, where Scythian hordes by Maeotis shiver, 
Where whirled are the tawny sands down Danube the turbid river, 350 


Quaque redit medium Rhodope porrecta sub axem. 

Illic clausa tenent stabulis armenta, neque uUae 

Aut herbae campo apparent aut arbore frondes ; 

Sad iacet aggeribus niveis informis at alto 

Terra gelu late, septemque adsurgit in ulnas. 355 

Semper hiemps, semper spirantes frigora Cauri. 

Tum Sol pallentes baud umquam discutit umbras, 

Nee cum invectus equis altum petit aethera, nee cum 

Praecipitem Oeeani rubro lavit aequore eurrum. 

Concrescunt subitae current! in flumine crustae 360 

Undaque iam tergo ferrates sustinet orbes, 

Puppibus ilia prius, patulis nunc hospita plaustris ; 

Aeraque dissiliunt ultro, vestesque rigescunt 

Indutae, caeduntque securibus humida vina, 

Et totae solidam in glaciem vertere lacunae, 365 

Stiriaque inpexis induruit horrida barbis. 

Interea toto non setius acre ninguit : 

Intereunt pecudes, stant circumfusa pruinis 

Corpora magna boum, confertoque agmine cervi 

Torpent mole nova et summis vix cornibus extant.. 370 

Hos non immissis canibus, non cassibus ullis 

Puniceaeve agitant pavidos formidine pennae, 

Sed frustra oppositum trudentes pectore montem 

Comminus obtruncant ferro, graviterque rudentes 

Caedunt, et magno laeti clamore reportant. 375 

Ipsi in defossis specubus secura sub alta 

Otia agunt terra, congestaque robora totasque 

Advolvere focis ulmos ignique dedere. 

Hie noctem ludo ducunt, et pocula laeti 

Fermento atque acidis imitantur vitea .sorbis. 380 

Talis Hyperboreo septem subiecta trioni 

Gens effrena virum Rhipaeo tunditur Euro, 

Et pecudum fulvis velatur corpora saetis. 

Si tibi lanitium curae, primum aspera silva 
Lappaeque tribolique absint ; fuge pabula laeta ; 385 

Continuoque greges villis lege mollibus albos. 
lUum autem, quamvis aries sit candidus ipse. 
Nigra subest udo tantum cui lingua palato, 
Reiice, ne maculis infuscet vellera pullis 
Nascentum, plenoque alium circumspice campo. 390 


Where right beneath the pole far-stretched bends Rhodope round. 

There pent in the stalls men keep their herds ; for nowhere is found 

Any grass in the fields, and nowhere a leaf do the tree-boughs show, 

But far and wide is the landscape blurred with the mounded snow 

And with thick-ribbed ice, a crust whose depth is in seven ells told. 355 

'Tis eternal winter ; the blasts evermore blow icy-cold. 

Never the grey cloud-pall by a shaft of the sun is riven. 

Neither when borne on his chariot he climbs to the height of the heaven, 

Nor yet when he plunges it headlong in ocean ruddy-glowing. 

There sudden ice-films curdle on streams in the midst of their flowing, 360 

And iron-bound wheels on its frozen face the water sustains ; 

Erewhile it gave welcome to ships, but now unto broad-beamed wains. 

Vessels of brass unsmitten are rifted, on wearers* backs 

Stiffens the raiment ; the wines men drink must be cleft with the axe. 

In a solid mass from floor to surface freezes the lake : 365 

Bright daggers that hang from the unkempt beard doth the hard ice make. 

Meanwhile without ceasing it snows, that the air is all one cloud : 

The sheep are dying, the huge-framed steers in a cold white shroud 

Stand wrapped : the forest-deer crouch numbed, a huddled rout, [370 

'Neath the 'wildering avalanche ; scarce do the tips of their horns peep out. 

Upon these men slip not the hounds from the leash, nor with nets do they 

Nor drive them into the toils with the crimson feather-scare ; [snare. 

But, as vainly their breasts against that mountain-barrier strain, [pain. 

They close on them, hew with the steel, while they bell in their terror and 

And with clamour loud and exultant homeward they bear the slain. 375 

That people in caves deep-delved under earth fleet carelessly 

A holiday-time : heaped logs and many a whole elm-tree 

Are rolled to their broad hearth-stones, and high on the flames up-piled. 

Here whUe they away the night in sport, and in revelry wild 

With ale and with cider sour do they mimic the southland wines. 380 

In the land at the North-wind's back, where the Bear in the zenith shines. 

So Uveth a savage race, by the east- wind buffeted aye, 

And in shaggy fells of their dun-hued goats their frames they array. 

But if thy desire be for wool, each thorny brake do thou clear, 
AU caltrops and burrs ; unto rank-growing pasturage draw not near. 385 
From the first let white sheep silky-fleeced be chosen of thee : 
But the ram, how white soever his outward form may be. 
Reject, if but under his mouth's moist roof a black tongue lie. 
Lest he blur with dark-hued spots each fleece of his progeny : 
Look round in the teeming plain for another horned chief. 390 


Munere sic niveo lanae, si credere dignum est. 

Pan deus Arcadiae captam te, Luna, fefellit 

In nemora alta vocans ; nee tu aspernata vocantem. 

At cui lactis amor, cytisum lotosque frequentes 
Ipse manu salsasque ferat praesepibus herbas. 395 

Hinc et amant fluvios magis, et magis ubera tendunt, 
Et sails occultum referunt in lacte saporem. 
Multi iam excretes prohibent a matribus haedos, 
Primaque ferratis praefigunt ora capistris. 

Quod surgente die mulsere horisque diurnis, 4^0 

Nocte premunt ; quod iam tenebris et sole cadente, 
Sub lucem ; exportans calathis adit oppida pastor, 
Aut parco sale contingifnt hiemique reponunt. 

Nee tibi cura canum fuerit postrema, sed una 
Velocis Spartae catulos acremque Molossum 405 

Pasce sero pingui. Numquam custodibus illis 
Nocturnum stabulis furem incursusque luporum 
Aut inpacatos a tergo horrebis Hiberos. 
Saepe etiam cursu timidos agitabis onagros, 

Et canibus leporem, canibus venabere dammas ; 410 

Saepe volutabris pulsos silvestribus apros 
Latratu turbabis agens, montesque per altos 
Ingentem clamore premes ad retia cervum. 

Disce et odoratam stabulis accendere cedrum, 
Galbaneoque agitare graves nidore chelydros. 415 

Saepe sub immotis praesepibus aut mala tactu 
Vipera delituit caelumque exterrita fugit, 
Aut tecto adsuetus coluber succedere et umbrae, 
Pestis acerba bourn, pecorique aspergere virus, 

Fovit humum. Cape saxa manu, cape robora, pastor, 420 

Tollentemque minas et sibila colla tumentem 
Deiice. lamque fuga timidum caput abdidit alte. 
Cum medii nexus extremaeque agmina caudae 
Solvuntur, tardosque trahit sinus ultimus orbes. 

Est etiam ille malus Calabris in saltibus anguis, 425 

Squamea convolvens sublato pectore terga 
Atque notis longam maculosus grandibus alvum. 
Qui, dum amnes ulli rumpuntur fontibus et dum 
Vere madent udo terrae ac pluvialibus austris, 
Stagna colit, ripisque habitans hie piscibus atram 430 


With wool so snowy for gift — ^if the tale be worthy belief — 

Thee, Moon-goddess, Pan, Arcadia's God, did beguile and enthrall, 

To the deep woods summoning thee, nor didst thou despise his call. 

But who coveteth milk, lucerne and lotus-bloom let him bear 
With his own hands unto the pens, and salt-strewn grass lay there : 395 
Thus more they desire to drink of the flood, and their udders swell 
The more, and a half-veiled savour of salt in the milk shall dwell. 
Some men from the very birth the mother's teat forbid, 
With iron muzzle arming the yeanling mouth of the kid. [400 

Of the milk that was drawn when the sunrise wakened the day, that night 
Are they wringing the curds, that milked in the sunset's failing light 
At dawn do they press : the shepherd in crates to the town bears this. 
Or lightly besprinkled with salt stored up for the 'winter it is. 

Nor last in thy thoughts be the care of thy dogs, but alike do thou breed 
Swift wolf-hounds of Sparta and fierce Molossian mastiffs, and feed 405 
On the fattening whey. When thou hast such warders of kine and sheep. 
Thou shaft dread not the thief in the night, nor the wolf's swift stealthy 
Nor the Spanish outlaw who darts unforeseen from his lurking-place, [leap. 
Often withal shalt thou hold the shy wild ass in chase, [deer. 410 

And with hounds shalt thou hunt the hare, and with hounds the fallow- 
Oft too from his forest-wallows with sound of their baying anear 
Shalt thou rouse and drive the boar, and oft through the mountains high 
From their clamour fuU on thy nets the stately stag shall fly. 

Learn also to burn in thy stalls the cedar's scented wood. 
And to banish with galbanum-fumes the noisome water-snake's brood. 415 
Oft under sheds long undisturbed close-hidden doth lie 
A viper deadly to touch, shrinking scared from the light of the sky ; 
Or an adder, — that pestilent scourge of the kine, — that is wont to creep 
'Neath the shadowing thatch, and bespatter with venom oxen and sheep. 
Hath his nest in the ground. Snatch stones and staves, O shepherd thou ! 
As he rears a threatening crest, as his hissing throat swells now, [420 
Down dash him ! — he flees ! — hidden deep is his head, no longer bold. 
While his back's mid- wreaths and the train of his tail's last joints are un- 
And the last of his coils drags out a slowly- trailing fold. [rolled. 

In Calabrian glens withal is a snake, that most fell pest, 425 

Who rolleth and writheth a scale-armed back, who upreareth a breast 
And a belly exceeding long with great spots closely set, [yet 

Who, while yet there are streams overbrimming from full well-heads, while 
With the dewy spring and the south-wind's rains the meadows are wet, 
Haunteth the pools ;" on their banks he dwelleth ; he gorgeth here 430 


Improbus ingluviem ranisque loquacibus explet ; 

Postquam exusta palus, terraeque ardore dehiscunt, 

Exsilit in siccum, et flammantia lumina torquens 

Saevit agris, asperque siti atque exterritus aestu. 

Ne mihi turn molles sub divo carpere somnos 435 

Neu dorso nemoris libeat iacuisse per herbas, 

Cum positis novus exuviis nitidusque iuventa 

Volvitur, aut catulos tectis aut ova relinquens 

Arduus ad solem, et Unguis micat ore trisulcis. 

Morborum quoque te causas et signa docebo. 440 

Turpis oves temptat scabies, ubi frigidus imber 
Altius ad vivum persedit et horrida cano 
Bruma gelu, vel cum tonsis inlotus adhaesit 
Sudor, et hirsuti secuerunt corpora vepres. 

Dulcibus idcirco fluviis pecus omne magistri 445 

Perfundunt, udisque aries in gurgite villis 
Mersatur, missusque secundo defluit amni ; 
Aut tonsum tristi contingunt corpus amurca, 
Et spumas miscent argenti vivaque sulfura 

Idaeasque pices et pingues unguine ceras 450 

Scillamque elleborosque graves nigrumque bitumen. 
Non tamen ulla magis praesens fortuna laborum est, 
Quam si quis ferro potuit rescindere summum 
Ulceris os : alitur vitium vivitque tegendo, 

Dum medicas adhibere manus ad volnera pastor 455 

Abnegat, et meliora deos sedet omina poscens. 
Quin etiam, ima dolor balantum lapsus ad ossa 
Cum furit atque artus depascitur arida febris, 
Profuit incensos aestus avertere et inter 

Ima ferire pedis salientem sanguine venam, 460 

Bisaltae quo more solent acerque Gelonus ; 
Cum fugit in Rhodopen atque in deserta Getarum 
Et lac concretum cum sanguine potat equino. 
Quam procul aut moUi succedere saepius umbrae 

Videris, aut summas carpentem ignavius herbas, 465 

Extremamque sequi, aut medio procumbere campo 
Pascentem, et serae solam decedere nocti ; 
Continuo culpam ferro compesce, priusquam 
Dira per incautum serpant contagia volgus. 
Non tam creber agens hiemem ruit aequore turbo, 470 


His ravening maw with fish and with babbUng frogs of the mere. 

But, when scorched dry is the fen, and rifted with heat earth hes. 

Forth darts to the waterless land, and, roUing blazing eyes, 

Goes raging over the fields, thirst-fevered and frenzied with heat. 

Not then be I tempted to woo 'neath the blue sky slumber sweet, 435 

Nor to he outstretched on the grass of the wood's ridge careless-dreaming. 

When, reborn from his cast-off slough, in youth's renewal gleaming. 

Coiling he comes, and hath left in his* lair his eggs or his young. 

And sunward uprears him, and darts from his mouth a three-forked tongue ! 

Diseeises, their causes and tokens, will I unto thee make plain. 440 
Our sheep by a noisome scab are assailed, when the chilhng rain 
And the frost, with its daggers of gleaming ice, have pierced down deep 
To the seat of hfe, or when the sweat to the late-sheared sheep 
Hath cloven unwashed, and prickly brambles have torn the flesh. 
Therefore do flockmasters bathe in running water fresh 445 

The whole flock : plunged is the ram in a swirling river-pool. 
And sent down-stream slow-saiHng, freighted with drenched wool. 
Or their new-shorn bodies the shepherd anointeth with oil-lees sour 
Mingled with silver-scum and with virgin sulphur-flour. 
And with pitch from Ida's pines and with wax oil-softened blent, 450 
And with squills and bitumen black, and with hellebore heavy of scent. 
Yea, for heahng of their afiliction there comes no happier chance 
Than this, if one hath the wit and the strength with the steel to lance 
The ulcer's head : the mischief is fostered and lives by conceahng. 
While the shepherd refuses to lay on the sore the hand of healing, 455 
And idly sitting prays to the Gods for hopefuller signs. 
Nay more, when the pain with the very bones of the bleater twines. 
When it rages, and parching fever on joint and on limb doth prey. 
Much hath it availed by bleeding that fiery heat to allay, [460 

And to pierce in the cleft of the hoof the vein hard- throbbing with blood, 
As use the Bisaltae to do, and Gelonians fierce of mood, 
When to Rhodope's ridge and the wastes of the Getan folk they have fled. 
And with curdled milk, with the steed's blood mingled, their cups brim red. 

What sheep soever thou markest that languidly steals to the shade. 
Or that bites not close, but listlessly crops but the tip of the blade, 465 
Or that Ues down tired in the mead as she pastures, and last of all 
Ever lags, and alone and late comes home at the evenfall, [the dread. 
Then help there is none, but with steel thou must stamp out the plague, ere 
The cureless taint through the unsuspecting flock shall have spread. 
For not so thick with disaster a whirlwind sweeps from the seas 470 


Quam multae pecudum pestes. Nee singula morbi 

Corpora corripiunt, sed tota aestiva repente, 

Spemque gregemque simul cunctamque ab origine gentem. 

Turn sciat, aerias Alpes et Norica si quis 

Castella in tumulis et lapydis arva Timavl 475 

Nunc quoque post tanto videat desertaque regna 

Pastorum et longe saltus lateque vacantes. 

Hie quondam morbo caeli miseranda coorta est 
Tempestas, totoque autumni incanduit aestu, 

Et genus omne neci pecudum dedit, omne ferarum, 480 

Corrupitque lacus, infecit pabula tabo. 
Nee via mortis erat simplex, sed ubi ignea venis 
Omnibus acta sitis miseros adduxerat artus, 
Rursus abundabat fluidus liquor omniaque in se 

Ossa minutatim morbo conlapsa trahebat. 485 

Saepe in honore deum medio stans hostia ad aram, 
Lanea dum nivea circumdatur infula vitta, 
Inter cunctantes cecidit moribunda ministros. 
Aut si quam ferro mactaverat ante sacerdos, 

Inde neque impositis ardent altaria fibris 490 

Nee responsa potest consultus reddere vates, 
Ac vix suppositi tinguntur sanguine cultri 
Summaque ieiuna sanie infuscatur arena. 
Hinc laetis vituli volgo moriuntur in herbis, 

Et dulces animas plena ad praesepia reddunt ; 495 

Hinc canibus blandis rabies venit, et quatit aegros 
Tussis anhela sues ac faucibus angit obesis. 
Labitur infelix studiorum atque immemor herbae 
Victor equus fontesque avertitur et pede terram 

Crebra ferit ; demissae aures, incertus ibidem 500^ 

Sudor et iUe quidem morituris frigidus, aret 
Pellis et ad tactum tractanti dura resistit. 
Haec ante exitium primis dant signa diebus ; 
Sin in processu coepit crudescere morbus, 

Tum vero ardentes oculi atque attractus ab alto 505 

Spiritus, interdum gemitu gravis, imaque longo 
Ilia singultu tendunt, it naribus ater 
Sanguis et obsessas fauces premit aspera lingua. 
Profuit inserto latices infundere cornu 
Lenaeos ; ea visa salus morientibus una ; 510 


Bringing storm, as the manifold murrains. Not single victims disease 

Clutcheth : whole summer-pastures are suddenly swept away — 

The flock and the hope of the flock, a whole race gone in a day ! 

Let him be my witness, who gazes on Alps that float on the sky. 

On Noric towers crag-built, on meads by Timavus that lie, 475 

And sees now, long, long after the ruin, desolate made 

The realms of the shepherds, and leagues on leagues of unpeopled glade. 

Here, dropped from a tainted sky, a season of misery came 
On a land that fainted and drooped under autumn's fever-flame. 
Deeding death to all manner of cattle, to every beast of the wild. 480 
It poisoned the pools, with its venom the very grass was defiled. 
Nor plain was the pathway to death, but when through every vein 
Coursing, the fiery thirst had cramped each hmb with pain. 
Once more did a watery humour flood the frame ; each bone. 
By disease to a pulp broken down, it absorbed and made its own. 485 
In mid-sacrifice oft the victim brought to the altar-side, [tied. 

While its brows were wreathed with the wooUen fillet with white bands 
Midst the faltering ministers fell to the earth in the last death-throe ; 
Or, if haply the priest had dealt with the axe ere then the blow. 
When the entrails were laid on the altar, the fat refused to bum, 490 
Nor, when asked of the will of the Gods, could the seer any answer return. 
The pale blood scarce can redden the knife at the throat that gleams. 
And the sand's mere surface is darkly flushed with the thin fife-streams. 
Here mid lush pastures the calves are dying on every hand, 
And render up sweet fife by the full-heaped cribs as they stand. 495 
Man's lover, the dog', goeth mad ; and racked are the sickening swine 
With a gasping cou^h ; half-strangled with swollen throats they pine. 
In his strivings baffled staggers the once victorious steed. 
Forgetting to grazte, from the fountain shrinking, and spurning the mead 
Oft with his hoof . his ears droop, sweat breaks out thereby 500 

Fitful and chill, a forerunner of death : his coat is dry ; 
Touch it, and tense and unyielding beneath thine hand doth it fie. 
Such death-signs are given in early days of the malady ; 
But when, in its onward course, the disease grows virulent. 
Then are his eyes ablaze, and laboured, as though deep-pent, 505 

Is his breathing, and laden with moans sometimes : the flanks from below 
Are strciining with long-drawn sobs : from the nostrils a dark blood-flow 
Oozes : the rough tongue's tip to the choked throat seems to grow. 
Refief hath been given by thrusting a horn 'twixt the teeth, wherethrough 
They poured wine — such was the only help for the dying they knew. 510 


Mox erat hoc ipsum exitio, furiisque refecti 

Ardebant, ipsique suos iam morte sub aegra — 

Di meliora piis erroremque hostibus ilium ! — 

Discissos nudis laniabant dentibus artus. 

Ecce autem duro fumans sub vomere taimis 515 

Concidit et mixtum spumis vomit ore cruorem 

Extremosque ciet gemitus. It tristis arator 

Maerentem abiungens fratema morte iuvencum, 

Atque opere in medio defixa relinquit aratra. 

Non umbrae altorum nemorum, non mollia possunt 520 

Prata movere animum, non qui per saxa volutus 

Purior electro campurn petit amnis ; at ima 

Solvuntur latera, atque oculos stupor urguet inertes. 

Ad terramque fluit devexo pondere cervix. 

Quid labor aut benefacta iuvant ? quid vomere terras 5^5 

Invertisse graves ? atqui non Massica Bacchi 

Munera, non illis epulae nocuere repostae : 

Frondibus et victu pascuntur simplicis barbae, 

Pocula sunt fontes liquidi atque exercita cursu 

Flumina, nee somnos abrumpit cura salubres. 53^ 

Tempore non alio dicunt regionibus ilHs 

Quaesitas ad sacra boves lunonis, et uris 

Imparibus ductos alta ad donaxia currus. 

Ergo aegre rastris terram rimantur, et ipsis 

Unguibus infodiunt fruges, montesque per altos 535 

Contenta cervice trahunt stridentia plaustra. 

Non lupus insidias explorat ovilia circum, 

Nee gregibus nocturnus obambulat ; acrior ilium 

Cura domat ; timidi dammae cervique fugaces 

Nunc interque canes et circum tecta vagantur. 540 

lam maris immensi prolem et genus omne natantum 

Litore in extreme, ceu naufraga corpora, fluctus 

Proluit ; insolitae fugiunt in flumina phocae. 

Interit et curvis frustra defensa latebris 

Vipera, et attoniti squamis adstantibus hydri. 545 

Ipsis est aer avibus non aequus, et illae 

Praecipites alta vitam sub nube relinquunt. 

Praeterea iam nee mutari pabula refert, 

Quaesitaeque nocent artes ; cessere magistri, 

Phillyrides Chiron Amythaoniusque Melampus. 550 


But this soon proved their destruction : with madness's energy burning. 

With false strength even in the faintness of imminent death returning,-7^ 

God save from such frenzy the good, and visit it on Rome's foes ! — (^ 

Their bared teeth mangled and tore their limbs in the last death-throes. 

Lo, where the ox, as he reeketh upturning the stubborn loam, 515 

Drops in his tracks ; from his mouth blood spurteth mingled with foam. 

As he heaveth his dying groans. The hind sore sorroweth. 

And unyokes the steer that stands and grieves for his brother's death : 

And there in the half-finished furrow buried he leaves the plough. 

No shades of the woodland-towers, no soft-grassed meadows now 520 

Shall avail to requicken his heart, nor the hill-stream amber-brown 

That over his rock-shelves combing plainward hurrieth down. 

But unstrung are his flanks, his languid eyes 'neath a stupor droop : 

By its own weight downward borne doth his faint neck earthward stoop. 

What avail him his labours, his services ? — what, that he toiled so hard 525 

Turning the furrows ? Yet never the strength of his frame was marred 

By the Massic gifts of the Wine-god, by course after course at the feast ; 

But on leaves and on grass unadulterate feedeth the pure-lived beast : 

The limpid spring and the racing brook his chalices are. 

Nor by cares are his healthful slumbers broken and banished afar. 530 

Never before, men say, were oxen sought in vain 

In that country for sacrifice unto Juno ; never the wain 

Was by ill-matched buffaloes drawn to her high-built treasury-fane. 

Therefore with mattocks they painfully scratch the earth, with their nails 

Bury the seed in the soil : the yeoman straining hales, 535 

The yoke on his own neck, waggons acros^s the mountain's brow. 

No wolf , about the sheepfold lurketh in ambush now. 

Nor stalketh the flock in the darkness : a keener terror daunts 

The spoiler. Shy fallow-deer and timorous stags from their haunts 

Come down, and mid hounds and around men's homes are they wandering. 

Yea, the brood of the limitless sea, and every swimming thing [540 

On the verge of the strand, like corpses from shipwreck, are washed up high 

By the surf : to the rivers strangely the seals for refuge fly. 

Even the viper in vain doth his winding lair protect. 

But he dies, and the water-snake, his scales in terror erect. 545 

To the very birds is the air unkind, for headlong they fall 

Down, leaving their life high up beneath the clouds' dark pall. 

No change of diet availeth : remedies have but recoiled 

In ruin on them that have sought them ; the masters of healing are foiled, 

Melampus of Amythaon, and Chiron, Phillyra's son. 550 


Saevit et in lucem Stygiis emissa tenebris 

Pallida Tisiphone Morbos agit ante Metumque, 

Inque dies avidum surgens caput altius effert. 

Balatu pecorum et crebris mugitibus amnes 

Arentesque sonant ripae collesque supini. 555 

lamque catervatim dat stragem atque aggerat ipsis 

In stabulis turpi dilapsa cadavera tabo. 

Donee humo tegere ac foveis abscondere discunt. 

Nam neque erat coriis usus nee viseera quisquam 

Aut undis abolere potest aut vineere flamma ; 560 

Ne tondere quidem morbo inluvieque peresa 

VeUera nee telas possunt attingere putres ; 

Verum etiam invisos si quis temptarat amictus, 

Ardentes papulae atque immundus olentia sudor 

Membra sequebatur, nee longo deinde moranti 565 

Tempore eontaetos artus saeer ignis edebat. 


Unkennelled from Stygian gloom to the light rusheth raging on 

Ghastly Tisiphone, herding before her Disease and Dread, 

And higher day by day uplifts her insatiate head. 

With bleating of sheep and with multitudinous lowing the rivers 

And parched banks echo ; the moaning along the hill-slopes shivers. 555 

To whole herds now is she dealing destniction, their corpses are piled 

In the very stalls ; they are rotting, with putrid horrors defiled. 

Till in pits men leam to hide them, and veil their corruption with soil ; 

For utterly useless the skins were : it was but wasted toil 

With water to wash the flesh, or its purging with fire to essay. 560 

Nay, they could shear not the fleeces, so eaten through were they 

By the plague and its foul discharge ; nor the rotting web could they wear : 

Yea, if to don that deadly vesture any should dare, 

O'er the hmbs spread burning pustules and sweat unclean and sour : 

And short was the respite granted before that awful hour 565 

Of the Fire Accurst, of the fangs that the living flesh devour. 



Protinus aerii mellis caelestia dona 

Exsequar. Hanc etiam, Maecenas, aspice partem. 

Admiranda tibi levium spectacula rerum, 

Magnanimosque duces totiusque ordine gentis 

Mores et studia et populos et proelia dicam. 5 

In tenui labor ; at tenuis non gloria, si quem 

Numina laeva sinunt auditque vocatus Apollo. 

Principio sedes apibus statioque petenda. 
Quo neque sit ventis aditus — ^nam pabula venti 

Ferre domum prohibent — neque oves haedique petulci ro 

Floribus insultent, aut errans bucula campo 
Decutiat rorem et surgentes atterat herbas. 
Absint et picti squalentia terga lacerti 
Pinguibus a stabulis, meropesque, aliaeque volucres, 
Et manibus Procne pectus signata cruentis ; 15 

Omnia nam late vastant ipsasque volantes 
Ore ferunt dulcem nidis inmitibus escam. 
At liquid! fontes et stagna virentia musco 
Adsint, et tenuis fugiens per gramina rivus, 

Palmaque vestibulum aut ingens oleaster inumbret, 20 

Ut, cum prima novi ducent examina reges 
Vere suo, ludetque favis emissa inventus, 
Vicina invitet decedere ripa calori, 
Obviaque hospitiis teneat frondentibus arbos. 

In medium, seu stabit iners sen profluet humor, 25 

Transversas salices et grandia coniice saxa, 
Pontibus ut crebris possint consistere et alas 
Pandere ad aestivum solem, si forte morantes 
Sparserit aut praeceps Neptuno inmerserit Eurus. 
Haec circum casiae virides et olentia late 30 



Next will I tell of the air-borne honey, a gift from the skies. 
Unto this part too of my song, Maecenas, turn thine eyes. 
A world in miniature thine admiration claims : 
Its chiefs heroic-hearted, its people's life, their aims. 
Their tribes, their wars — ^in order will I unfold to thee all. 5 

Slight is the theme — not slight the glory, if but no wall 
Of hindrance by Gods be raised, if Apollo hearken my call. 

First, for thy bees a home of an aspect meet must thou find 
Access whereunto the winds win not — ^for against the wind [play, 10 

Can they sail not home with their spoils — nor where kids, ever butting in 
Nor sheep tread down the flowers, nor kine, o'er the meads as they stray. 
Brush away dew, and trample down the herbs as they spring. 
Banished be spangled Hzards with backs scale-glistering [flit. 

From the fuU-fraught hives, aU bee-eating birds through the woods that 
And the swallow, with murder's tale on her breast by her own hands writ ; 
For they spread on all sides havoc, they pounce on the bees in mid-air, [15 
And their beaks to their ruthless nestlings that delicate morsel bear. 
But limpid springs, and pools that mirror the green-cushioned moss 
Be there hard by, and a lawn with a thin stream fleeting across. 
O'er their porch let a huge wild olive or palm stretch shadowing arms, 20 
That, when in the dear spring new kings lead forth first-bom swarms, 
And their youth, from the combs unprisoned, are dancing to and fro. 
The near stream's bank may woo them away from the sun's hot glow. 
And its green hospitahty fuU in their path that tree may bestow. 
Mid the water — or standing pool, or racing brooklet's flow — 25 

Branches of willow to span it, and island-stones do thou lay, [ray 

That on many a bridge they may settle, and spread to the summer-sun's 
Their wings, if the east-wind haply, as slowly they won their way, [its spray. 
May have whelmed them in this their ocean, or splashed at the least with 
All round let casia green, and the thyme that afar doth fling 30 


Serpylla et graviter spirantis copia thymbrae 

Floreat, inriguumque bibant violaria fontem. 

Ipsa autem, seu corticibus tibi suta cavatis, 

Seu lento fuerint alvaria vimine texta, 

Angustos habeant aditus ; nam frigore mella 35 

Cogit hiemps, eademque calor liquefacta remittit. 

Utraque vis apibus pariter metuenda ; neque illae 

Nequiquam in tectis certatim tenuia cera 

Spiramenta linunt, fucoque et floribus eras 

Explent, coUectumque haec ipsa ad munera gluten 40 

Et visco et Phrygiae servant pice lentius Idae. 

Saepe etiam effossis, si vera est fama, latebris 

Sub terra fovere larem, penitusque repertae 

Pumicibusque cavis exesaeque arboris antro. 

Tu tamen et levi rimosa cubilia limo 45 

Ungue fovens circum et raras superiniice frondes. 

Neu propius tectis taxum sine, neve rubentes 

Ure foco cancros, altae neu crede paludi, 

Aut ubi odor caeni gravis, aut ubi concava pulsu 

Saxa sonant vocisque offensa resultat imago. 50 

Quod superest, ubi pulsam hiemem sol aureus egit 
Sub terras caelumque aestiva luce reclusit, 
Illae continuo saltus silvasque peragrant 
Purpureosque metunt flores et flumina libant 

Summa leves. Hinc nescio qua dulcedine laetae 55 

Progeniem nidosque fovent, hinc arte recentes 
Excudunt ceras et mella tenacia fingunt. 
Hinc ubi iam emissum caveis ad sidera caeli 
Nare per aestatem liquidam suspexeris agmen 

Obscuramque trahi vento mirabere nubem, 60 

Contemplator : aquas dulces et frondea semper 
Tecta petunt. Hue tu iussos adsperge sapores, 
Trita meUsphylla et cerinthae ignobile gramen, 
Tinnitusque cie et Matris quate cymbala circum : 

Ipsae consident medicatis sedibus, ipsae 65 

Intima more suo sese in cunabula condent. 

Sin autem ad pugnam exierint — nam saepe duobus 
Regibus incessit magno discordia motu ; 
Continuoque animos volgi et trepidantia bello 
Corda licet longe praesciscere ; namque morantes 70 


Its odours, and savory heavy of scent be blossoming 
In abundance, and clumps of the violet drink of the rippling spring. 
Let the hives — ^whether curving sheets of bark have been sewn to thy mind 
Together, or be they of pliant sprays of the osier twined — 
Have doorways narrow ; for frozen sbHd by winter's cold 35 

Is the honey ; by heat is it melted and spilt from the honeycomb-mould. 
By thy bees is either extreme ahke to be feared ; nor for naught 
Do they labour to smear thin rifts in their roofs with plaster wrought 
Of wax, and with pollen of flowers fill chinks and crevices : 
And for this same service they gather and store in their treasuries 40 
Gum closer-cleaving than birdlime or pitch from Ida brought. 
Oft, too, do they tunnel them lairs underground, if report Ueth not, [sunk 
And make them a warm home there, and their nests have been found deep- 
In sandstone-clefts or the cavernous heart of an old tree-trunk. 
Thou help them — ^with smooth clay oversmeared do thou warmly cover 45 
Their crannied sleeping-bowers, and straw leaves thinly thereover. 
Suffer no yew-tree nigh to their house, nor crab-sheUs red [dread. 

Bum there on a hearth, and a deep-mired marsh for their sake do thou 
And the fetid odour of shme, or where ring from shocks of sound 
Arched rocks, where phantom voices from cliffs cry-smitten rebound. 50 

For the rest, when winter in rout by the golden sun is driven 
'Neath the earth, and by summer's Ught unbarred are the gates of heaven, 
Straightway through woodland-glade and forest they wing their flight. 
They harvest the splendour of flowers ; from the stream's face, hovering 
They sip, and thereafter, with some strange rapture joyful-souled, [light, 
Nesthngs and nest they cherish, and then do they cunningly mould 
Fresh wax, and fashion the cleaving honey's molten gold. 
This done, when, pouring forth from their crypts to the stars of the sky. 
Through the clear summer air thou beholdest their army floating on high. 
And the marvellous dusky cloud trailed down the wind afar, 60 

Mark well — by fresh-flowing waters ever attracted they are. 
And by leaf-laden bowers : the scents that I bid thee spread thou for them, 
Even these — bruised balm and the honeywort's lightly accounted stem. 
Let the tinkUng of brass, let the clash of the Great Mother's cymbals 
Down on the odorous resting-place of themselves will they sweep ; [upleap. 
Into the cradling hive's depths after their wont will they creep. 

But if they go forth to war — for jealousy 'twixt two kings 
Oft-times with turmoil vast her apple of discord flings — [share. 

Thou shaft straightway discern from afar how their folk in their fury 
How their hearts are thrilHng with war ; for the strident clarion's blare, 70 


Martius ille aeris rauci canor increpat, et vox 

Auditur fractos sonitus imitata tubarum ; 

Turn trepidae inter se coeunt, pennisque coruscant. 

Spiculaque exacuunt rostris aptantque lacertos, 

Et circa regem atque ipsa ad praetoria densae 75 

Miscentur, magnisque vocant clamoribus hostem. 

Ergo ubi ver nactae sudum camposque patentes, 

Erumpunt portis : concurritur, aethere in alto 

Fit sonitus, magnum mixtae glomerantur in orbern 

Praecipitesque cadunt ; non densior aere grando, 80 

Nee de concussa tantum pluit ilice glandis. 

Ipsi per medias acies insignibus alis 

Ingentes animos angusto in pectore versant, 

Usque adeo obnixi non cedere, dum gravis aut hos 

Aut hos versa fuga victor dare terga subegit. 85 

Hi motus animorum atque haec certamina tanta 

Pulveris exigui iactu compressa quiescunt. 
Verum ubi ductores acie revocaveris ambo, 

Deterior qui visus, eum, ne prodigus obsit, 

Dede neci ; melior vacua sine regnet in aula. 90 

Alter erit maculis auro squalentibus ardens ; 

Nam duo sunt genera : hiic melior, insignia et ore 

Et rutilis clarus squamis ; ille horridus alter 

Desidia, latamque trahens inglorius alvum. 

Ut binae regum facies, ita corpora plebis. 95 

Namque aliae turpes horrent, ceu pulvere ab alto 

Cum venit et sicco terram spuit ore viator 

Aridus ; elucent aliae et fulgore coruscant, 

Ardentes auro et paribus lita corpora guttis. 

Haec potior suboles ; hinc caeli tempore certo lOO 

Dulcia mella premes, nee tantum dulcia, quantum 

Et liquida et durum Bacchi domitura saporem. 
At cum incerta volant caeloque examina ludunt 

Contemnuntque favos et frigida tecta relinquunt, 

Instabiles animos ludo prohibebis inani. 105 

Nee magnus prohibere labor : tu regibus alas 

Eripe ; non illis quisquam cunctantibus altum 

Ire iter aut castris audebit vellere signa. 

Invitent croceis halantes floribus horti 

Et custos furum atque avium cum falce saligna no 


The voice of the War-god, cheereth the laggards on, and a cry 
Is heard hke the shattering trumpet's note shrilling wild and high. 
In hot haste then they muster : flicker and flash their wings ; [stings : 
They make ready for action their arms, they whet on their beaks their 
And around their lord by the royal pavilion the dense-thronged rout 75 
Rallies : they challenge the foe with multitudinous shout. 
They but wait for a bright spring day, for an open battle-field fair, [air 
Then pour through their gates. They meet in the battle-shock : high in 
Clangour awakes : in a huge orbed cloud are they mingled and massed, 
Wherefrom ever headlong they fall ; never hail more thick and fast 80 
Descends, nor the acorns down from the shaken oak-tree cast. 
Through the heart of the clashing squadrons on wings resplendent fleet 
Their kings, for the hearts of giants in those small bosoms beat. 
So sternly straining, unflinching they bide, till the crushing might 
Of the victor constrain his foes to turn their backs in flight. 85 

These tempests of passion, yea, such conflicts Titanic as these. 
By a handful of dust cast o'er them are quelled and hushed to peace. 
But when thou hast from the battle recalled those chieftains twain, 
Whichsoever seemeth the worse, lest he prove but a waster and bane. 
Slay ; in an undisputed court let the better reign. 90 

That one will be all aglow with spots like spangles of gold — 
For two kinds are there : this is noble of mien to behold. 
And bright with red-glowing scales ; that seems as the sluggard in rags 
To be clothed, and an overgrown paunch like a very plebeian he drags. 
As king is diverse from king, even so is the follower's frame : 95 

Ungainly and ragged are these ; 'tis as though some wayfarer came 
Parched from the track's deep dust, and spat its powder of clay 
From his dry lips : those gleam bright, and flash in resplendent array. 
Ablaze with gold, and their backs do symmetrical blots overstrew. 
Ay, this is the better brood ; from these in the season due 100 

Thou shalt strain sweet honey ; nor yet is its sweetness all, so fine 
Is its limpid clearness, so well doth it mellow the roughness of wine. 

But when aimlessly fly the swarms, and sport through the sky at their 
Setting their combs at naught, and leaving their dwellings to chiU, [will. 
Their fickle spirits shalt thou restrain from their profitless play. 105 
No hard task this, to restrain them ; tear thou the pinions away 
From their kings : while they tarry, not one of the rest will dare to stray 
Through cloudland ; to pluck up the marching-standard none will essay. 
Let gardens breathing with blossoms of saffron woo them to stay. 
And let him who against the thief and the bird stands sentinel no 


Hellespontiaci servet tutela Priapi. 

Ipse thymum pinosque ferens de montibus altis 

Tecta serat late circum, cui talia curae ; 

Ipse labore manum duro terat, ipse feraces 

Figat humo plantas et amicos inriget imbres. 115 

Atque equidem, extreme ni iam sub fine laborum 
Vela traham et terris festinem advertere proram, 
Forsitan et, pingues hortos quae cura colendi 
Ornaret, canerem, biferique rosaria Paesti, 

Quoque modo potis gauderent intiba rivis 120 

Et virides apio ripae, tortusque per herbam 
Cresceret in ventrem cucumis ; nee sera comantem 
Narcissum aut flexi tacuissem vimen acanthi, 
Pallentesque hederas et amantes litora myrtos. 

Namque sub Oebaliae memini me turribus altis, 125 

Qua niger humectat flaventia culta Galaesus, 
Corycium vidisse senem, cui pauca relicti 
lugera ruris erant, nee fertilis ilia iuvencis. 
Nee pecori opportuna seges, nee commoda Baceho ; 
Hie rarum tamen in dumis olus albaque circum 130 

Lilia verbenasque premens vescumque papaver, 
Regum aequabat opes animis, seraque revertens 
Noete domum dapibus mensas onerabat inemptis. 
Primus vere rosam atque autumno earpere poma, 

Et cum tristis hiemps etiamnum frigore saxa 135 

Rumperet et glacie cursus frenaret aquarum, 
Ille comam mollis iam tondebat hyacinthi 
Aestatem increpitans seram zephyrosque morantes. 
Ergo apibus fetis idem atque examine multo 

Primus abundare et spumantia cogere pressis 140 

Mella f avis ; illi tiliae atque uberrima pinus ; 
Quotque in flore novo pomis se'fertilis arbos 
Induerat, totidem autumno matura tenebat. 
Ille etiam seras in versum distulit ulmos 

Eduramque pirum et spines iam pruna ferentes, 145 

lamque ministrantem platanum potantibus umbras. 
Verum haec ipse equidem spatiis exclusus iniquis 
Praetereo atque aliis post me memoranda relinquo. 

Nunc age, naturas apibus quas luppiter ipse 
Addidit, expediam, pro qua mercede canoros 150 


With willow-wood scythe, Priapus of Hellespont, ward them well. 

Let him whose heart is indeed in the work bring thyme and pines [Hnes. 

From the mountains, and plant them around their abodes in broad green 

Let him chafe with" labour his hand himself, himself in the ground 

Set fruit-bearing shoots, and sprinkle the grateful showers around. 115 

Yea, I, were I'nbt drawn near to the goal of my toils by now, 
And were striking saU, and were hasting to turn to the land my prow, 
Peradventure would sing by what careful tillage the garden grows 
To a tiling of beauty, of Paestum where blooms twice yearly the rose. 
And how the endive rejoices in drinking the brook as it flows, 120 

How the green banks joy in the parsley, how melons to full orbs swell 
As they wind through the grass ; of the tardily blooming narcissus to tell 
Had I spared not ; acanthus-sprays soft-curled Hke an infant's hand 
Had I sung, and the ivy pale, and the myrtles that love the strand. 
For I call to mind how I saw a Corycian gardener old, 125 

Where Galaesus the dark-flowing laveth the tilth-land's rippHng gold, 
'Neath OebaUa's high-built towers. Some roods of unclaimed soil 
Had he taken : too barren they were to be worth the ploughman's toil. 
Too bare for the grazing of sheep, too stony for growing of vines ; 
Yet garden-herbs had he sown mid its thickets in wide-set lines, 130 
And silver liUes he planted and sUm-stemmed poppies around. 
And, returning home in the gloaming, the wealth of kings he found 
In contentment of heart, and his board with unbought banquets heaped. 
First in the spring the rose, and in autumn the apple he reaped ; [still, 135 
And, while scowling winter was cleaving the rocks with his frost-wedge 
And was setting his curb of ice on the onward-racing rill. 
He, he was already cropping the hyacinth silken-tressed. 
Was challenging laggard summer and loitering winds of the west. 
He first in the year had armies of breeding bees, for whom [140 

They swarmed multitudinous, harvested first from the down-pressed comb 
The frothing honey : lindens and pines thick-growing had he. 
AU blooms that in blossoming hours of the spring overmantled the tree, 
AU these were ripened fruit in the autumn, there failed of them none. 
He too could transplant into ordered rows elm-trees full-grown 
And pears age-hardened, and sloes already in fruitage arrayed, 145 

And planes of size to shelter a banqueting group 'neath their shade. 
But myself from all these themes do my narrow limits withhold : 
I must pass them by, and leave them by future bards to be told. 

Lo, now what nature on bees was by Jove himself conferred [they heard 
Will I tell, and what guerdon they won when they followed the sound that 


Curetum sonitus crepitantiaque aera secutae 

Dictaeo caeli regem pavere sub antro. 

Soke communes natos, consortia tecta 

Urbis habent, magnisque agitant sub legibus aevum, 

Et patriam soke et certos novere penates ; I55 

Venturaeque hiemis memores aestate kborem 

Experiuntur et in medium quaesita reponunt. 

Namque aliae victu invigiknt et foedere pacto 

Exercentur agris ; pars intra saepta domorum 

Narcissi kcrimam et lentum de cortice gluten i6o 

Prima favis ponunt fundamina, deinde tenaces 

Suspendunt ceras ; aliae spem gentis adultos 

Educunt fetus ; aliae purissima mella 

Stipant, et liquido distendunt nectare ceUas. 

Sunt, quibus ad portas cecidit custodia sorti, 165 

Inque vicem specukntur aquas et nubila caeli, 

Aut onera accipiunt venientum, aut agmine facto 

Ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent. 

Fervet opus, redolentque thymo fragrantia mella. 

Ac veluti lentis Cyclopes fulmina massis 170 

Cum properant, alii taurinis foUibus auras 

Accipiunt redduntque, alii stridentia tingunt 

Aera lacu ; gemit inpositis incudibus Aetna ; 

Illi inter sese magna vi bracchia tollunt 

In numerum, versantque tenaci forcipe ferrum : 175 

Non aliter, si parva licet componere magnis, 

Cecropias innatus apes amor urguet habendi, 

Munere quamque suo. Grandaevis oppida curae 

Et munire favos et daedak fingere tecta. 

At fessae multa referunt se nocte minores, 180 

Crura thymo plenae ; pascuntur et arbuta passim 

Et glaucas salices casiamque crocumque rubentem 

Et pinguem tiliam et ferrugineos hyacinthos. 

Omnibus una quies operum, labor omnibus unus. 

Mane niunt portis ; nusquam mora ; rursus easdem 185 

Vesper ubi e pastu tandem decedere campis 

Admonuit, tum tecta petunt, turn corpora curant ; 

Fit sonitus, mussantque oras et limina circum. 

Post, ubi iam thakmis se composuere, siletur 

In noctem, fessosque sopor suus occupat artus. 190 


Of the music Curetes made when the cymbals' clash rang high, 

And in Dicte's cavern they fed with their honey the King of the Sky. 

They only have children in common : all homes of their city are one : 

To the majesty of Law subjected their life-days run. 

A fatherland and a settled home they only know. 155 

They bethink them of coming winter, they toil through the summer-glow. 

And all that they win for the general use lay by in store. 

Some watch for the nation's subsistence, by covenant bound, evermore : 

In the field some labour ; within the home's seclusion some 

Lay down the narcissus' tears and the tree-bark's viscid gum 160 

For their honeycombs' first foundations, then hang therefrom in their place 

The close-cUnging wax of the cells. Some rear the hope of the race 

To full growth : honey, of sweet things purest, do others store 

Till with liquid nectar the straining cells are brimming o'er. 

Some are there, to whom 'tis allotted to ward the gates of the town : 165 

In turn do they watch for the rain and the heaven's cloud-knit frown : 

They receive the harvesters' burdens, they close in phalanx of war, [afar. 

And they chase that thriftless rabble, the drones, from their precincts 

'Tis a fever of toil ; thyme-scented the odorous honey-drops are. 

'Tis as when the Cyclopes in haste from ingots tough red-glowing 170 

Forge thunderbolts : some are indrawing the blast and anon outblowing 

From the bellows of bull-hide : others are plunging the hissing brass 

In the tank. Even Etna groans 'neath the anvil's ponderous mass. 

Mightily swing they alternately up for the rhythmical blow 

Their arms ; in the grip of the pincers the metal they turn to and fro. 175 

Even so — ^if by giants' work we may set things small as these — 

The gain-getter's passion inborn spurs on the Cecropian bees, 

Each in his office. Their city's ward is in charge of the old : [mould. 

They must build its combs, and its mansions cunningly fashioned must 

But the young stream wearily home late, late in the gloaming-tide^ — 180 

Their thighs from the thyme fuU-fraught — from pasturing far and wide 

On arbute, on silvery willow, on casia, on saffron in hue 

Like the rose, on the linden rich, on the hyacinth's dusky blue. 

Unto all Cometh one repose from toil, one labour to all. 

At mom from the gates they pour — no laggards ! When evenfall 185 

From their pasturing beckons them, warns ^hem to quit their fields at length. 

Then homeward they hie them ; with food and with rest they requicken 

their strength. 
Low humming and murmuring mutter their borders and thresholds around. 
Soon, when they have hushed them to rest in their bowers, there is heard no 
Nightlong, and in weU-eamed peace are their bodies slumber-bound, [sound 


Nee vero a stabulis pluvia impendente recedunt 

Longius, aut credunt caelo adventantibus euris ; 

Sed circum tutae sub moenibus urbis aquantur, 

Excursusque breves temptant, et saepe lapillos, 

Ut cymbae instabiles fiuctu iactante saburram, 195 

Tollunt ; his sese per inania nubila librant. 

Ilium adeo placuisse apibus mirabere morem, 

Quod neque concubitu indulgent, nee corpora segnes 

In Venerem solvunt, aut fetus nixibus edunt ; 

Verum ipsae e foliis natos, e suavibus herbis 200 

Ore legunt, ipsae regem parvosque Quirites 

Sufficiunt, aulasque et cerea regna refigunt. 

Saepe etiam duris errando in cotibus alas 

Attrivere, ultroque animam sub fasce dedere : 

Tantus amor florum et generandi gloria mellis. 205 

Ergo ipsas quamvis angusti terminus aevi 

Excipiat — neque enim plus septima ducitur aestas — 

At genus immortale manet, multosque per annos 

Stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum. 

Praeterea regem non sic Aegyptos et ingens 210 

Lydia nee populi Parthorum aut Medus Hydaspes 

Observant. Rege ineoJumi mens omnibus una est ; 

Amisso rupere fidem, constructaque mella 

Diripuere ipsae et crates solvere f avorum. 

Ille operum custos, ilium admirantur, et omnes 215 

Cireumstant fremitu denso stipantque frequentes ; 

Et saepe attoUunt umeris et corpora bello 

Obiectant, pulchramque petunt per volnera mortem. 

His quidam signis atque haec exempla seeuti 
Esse apibus partem divinae mentis et haustus 220 

Aetherios dixere ; deum namque ire per omnes 
Terrasque tractusque maris caelumque profundum ; 
Hinc pecudes, armenta, viros, genus omne ferarum, 
Quemque sibi tenues nascentem areessere vitas ; 

Scilicet hue reddi deinde ac resoluta referri 225 

Omnia, nee morti esse locum, sed viva volare 
Sideris in numerum atque alto succedere caelo. 

Si quando sedem angustam servataque mella 
Thesauris relines, prius haustu sparsus aquarum 
Ora fove, fumosque manu praetende sequaces. 230 


Not far from their steadings they stray when rain is threatening, [wing ; 
Nor, when winds from the east draw near, do they trust to the welkin their 
But in safety the water they draw 'neath their city's ramparts found. 
And essay short flights ; and pebbles they oft take up from the ground. 
Even cis sea-rocked boats take ballast when waves toss high : 195 

And with these self-balanced through unsubstantial clouds they fly. 

Nay more, thou wilt marvel that bees of this strange custom approve. 
That they will not cohabit, nor languidly couched in the bed of love 
Unbend their vigour, and bring forth young with travail-throe ; [blow 200 
But their own mouths gather from leaves and from all sweet herbs that 
Babes : dead kings thus do they still replace and burghers small, 
And are ever renewing the waxen realm and its palace-hall. 
Oft, too, against jagged rocks do they fray, as they wander wide, 
Their wings, and they yield up their hfe ere they cast their burden aside ; 
So love they the flowers, in begetting the honey such is their pride. 205 
Therefore, though each one Ufe be but for a Kttle span, — 
That brief existence never its seventh summer outran, — 
Yet immortal abideth the race, and through years on years on-rolled 
The fortune stands of the house, and grandsires of grandsires are told. 

Moreover, they honour the king : nor Egypt nor Lydia the vast, 210 
Nor the tribes of the Parthians.norMedes by Hydaspes that dwell have sur- 
The homage they render. WhUe lives their king, one heart, one will [passed 
Have all ; when they lose him, they break their fealty, spoil and spiU 
Their hoarded honey ; their netted combs into fragments fall. 
He is their work's overseer, him reverence they, and all 215 

Close round him with multitudinous clamour, a thronged array : 
On their shoulders they bear him, their bodies shield him in battle's day ; 
Yea, wounds and a glorious death for him do they court in the fray. 

Some, taking for guide herein such multipUed token and sign. 
Have declared that on bees is bestowed some share in the soul divine, 220 
Some draughts of the airs of heaven, for that God moves everjrwhere 
Through earth, the expanses of sea, and the hmitless depths of air : 
From Him sheep, cattle, men, and all wild broods of the earth 
Drank in the ethereal draught of life in the hour of their birth : 
Yea, and to Him they return, for not unto Him do they die 225 

At dissolution : there is no death ; but they hve, and they fly 
To the ranks of starland, and enter the high-reared halls of the sky. 

If thou wilt unseal their narrow abode, wilt rifle thence 
The treasure-hoards of their honey, with water besprinkle thee, cleanse 
Thy mouth therewith : be searching smoke thy forerunner and shield. 230 


Bis gravidos cogunt fetus, duo tempera messis, 

Taygete simul os terns ostendit honestum 

Plias, et Oceani spretos pede reppulit amnes, 

Aut eadem sidus fugiens ubi Piscis aquosi 

Tristior hibernas caelo descendit in undas. 235 

lUis ira modum supra est, laesaeque venerium 

Morsibus inspirant, et spicula caeca relinquunt 

Adfixae venis, animasque in volnere ponunt. 

Sin duram metues hiemem parcesque future/ 

Contunsosque animos et res miserabere fractas, 240 

At suffire thymo cerasque recidere inanes 

Quis dubitet ? nam saepe favos ignotus adedit 

Stellio, et lucifugis cengesta cubilia blattis, 

Immunisque sedens aliena ad pabula fucus ; 

Aut asper crabro inparibus se inmiscuit armis, 245 

Aut dirum tiniae genus, aut invisa Minervae 

Laxes in feribus suspendit aranea casses. 

Quo magis exhaustae fuerint, hoc acrius omnes 

Incumbent generis lapsi sarcire ruinas, 

Complebuntque fores et fieribus horrea texent. 250 

Si vero, quoniam casus apibus quoque nostros 
Vita tulit, tristi languebunt corpora morbo — 
Quod iam non dubiis poteris cognoscere signis : 
Continue est aegris alius color ; horrida voltum 

Deformat macies ; tum corpora luce carentum 255 

Exportant tectis et tristia funera ducunt ; 
Aut illae pedibus connexae ad limina pendent, 
Aut intus clausis cunctantur in aedibus, omnes 
Ignavaeque fame et contracto frigore pigrae ; 

Tum sonus auditur gravior, tractimque susurrant, 260 

Frigidus ut quondam silvis inmurmurat Auster, 
Ut mare soUicitum stridit refluentibus undis, 
Aestuat ut clausis rapidus fornacibus ignis : — 
Hie iam galbaneos suadebo incendere oderes 

Mellaque harundineis inferre canalibus, ultro 265 

Hortantem et fessas ad pabula nota vocantem. 
Proderit et tunsum gallae admiscere saporem 
Arentesque rosas, aut igni pinguia multo 
Defruta, vel psithia passes de vite racemes, 
Cecropiumque thymum et grave olentia centaurea. 270 


Twice yearly men gather their harvest, and take two seasons' yield ; 

First, when the Pleiad Taygete lifts o'er the earth at morn 

Her fair face, spurning the Ocean-stream with her heel as in scorn, 

And again, when fast from the rain-laden Fish doth the same star flee. 

And sinks down saddened from heaven mid waves of a wintry sea. 235 

Their wrath then knows no bounds ; molested thus, through their sting 

Venom they breathe ; in thy veins their darts invisible cling. 

And they leave them there, even Ufe unto vengeance surrendering, [state. 

If thou fear for them winter's rigour, wouldst spare the hope of the 
Bruised hearts and shattered fortunes if thou wilt compassionate, 240 
Yet to smoke them with thyme and to shear off empty cells at the least 
Who scruples ? — for oft hath the newt consumed in secret feast 
The combs, and the hght -loathing cockroach's crowded bowers are there, 
And the work-hating drone sits down in the toiler's banquet to share ; 
Or the hornet grim on the bees by his might overmatched hath warred : 245 
Or the moths' fell tribe swarm there ; or she by Minerva abhorred. 
The spider, hath hung her nets loose-woven afront of their door [more 
Yet, the more their hoards have been drained, with energy so much the 
On wiU they press to repair the wreck of a race brought low, 
WiU refill ceU-rows, and from flowers fresh-woven shall granaries grow. 250 

But if, seeing life cometh laden with sore mischances to bees 
As to men, their frames shall droop and pine with woeful disease, — 
And this shalt thou straightway discern by no uncertain signs : 
When they sicken, their colour changeth, with leanness's haggard hues 
Are their visages marred : the forms of friends that will see not again 255 
Life's Ught, from their homes they bear in mournful funeral-train : 
Or in clusters they hang at their portal with clinging feet entwined. 
Or loiter within behind closecl doors, aU hunger-pined 
Unto utter listlessness, and with cramping cold made numb. 
Then is a dull sound heard, a low continuous hum, 260 

As when the bleak South moans through shivering forest-trees. 
As when with recoiUng surges snarl the troubled seas. 
As when ravening flames are raging in close-shut furnaces. 
Forthwith, I counsel thee, burn there odorous incense-gum. 
And through channels of reed pour honey in, and cry to them " Come, 265 
O weary souls, to the food that ye know ! " — ^in encouragement call. 
'Twill be good to mingle therewith the savour of bruised oak-gall 
And rose-leaves dried, or, boiled o'er a slow fire, must of wine 
Till it thickens to syrup, or raisin-pulp of the Psithian vine ; [270 

And thyme therewithal, and strong-smeUing centaury see thou combine. 


Est etiam flos in pratis, cui nomen amello 

Fecere agricolae, facilis quaerentibus herba ; 

Namque uno ingentem tollit de caespite silvam, 

Aureus ipse, sed in foliis, quae plurima circum 

Funduntur, violae sublucet purpura nigrae ; 275 

Saepe deum nexis ornatae torquibus arae ; ; 

Asper in ore sapor ; tonsis in vallibus ilium 

Pastores et curva legunt prope flumina Mellae. 

Huius odorato radices incoque Baccho, 

Pabulaque in foribus plenis adpone canistris. 280 

Sed si quem proles subito defecerit omnis, 
Nee, genus unde novae stirpis revocetur, habebit, 
Tempus et Arcadii memoranda inventa magistri 
Pandere, quoque modo caesis iam saepe iuvencis 

Insincerus apes tulerit cruor. Altius omnem 285 

Expediam prima repetens ab origine famam. 
Nam qua Pellaei gens fortunata Canopi 
AccoUt effuso stagnantem flumine Nilum, 
Et circum pictis vehitur sua rura phaselis, 

Quaque pharetratae vicinia Persidis urguet, 290 

Et diversa mens septem discurrit in era 
Usque coloratis amnis devexus ab Indis, 
Et viridem Aegyptum nigra fecundat harena ; 
Omnis in hac certam regio iacit arte salutem. 

Exiguus primum atque ipsos contractus in usus 295 

Eligitur locus ; hunc angustique imbrice tecti 
Parietibusque premunt artis, et quattuor addunt, 
Quattuor a ventis obliqua luce fenestras. 
Turn vitulus bima curvans iam cornua fronte 

Quaeritur ; huic geminae nares et spiritus oris 300 

Multa reluctanti obstruitur, plagisque perempto 
Tunsa per integram solvuntur viscera pellem. 
Sic positum in clauso linquunt, et ramea costis 
Subiiciunt fragmenta, thymum casiasque recentes. 
Hoc geritur Zephyris primum inpellentibus undas, 305 

Ante novis rubeant quam prata coloribus, ante 
Garrula quam tignis nidum suspendat hirundo. 
Interea teneris tepefactus in ossibus humor 
Aestuat, ef visenda modis animalia miris 
Trunca pedum primo, mox et stridentia pennis, 310 


There is also a flower in the meads, our yeomen have named its name 

Starwort, and easily foimd by them that seek is the same ; 

For a forest of dense-growing stalks it uprears from its turfy bed. 

Golden its flower is, the leaves that around it abundantly spread 

Are aglow with a dusky violet shot through with a crimson sheen. 275 

The altars of Gods are oft festooned with its gold and green. 

In the mouth is its savour bitter ; in close-cropped meads doth the hind 

Cull it, and where the curving streams of Mella wind. 

The roots of this in the Wine-god's odorous nectar seethe, [breathe. 280 

And in piled maunds lay at their doors, a food from which health shall 

If one's whole stock shall have suddenly perished, nor any seed 
Remaineth, wherefrom the life of a new generation may breed. 
It is time to unfold the device of the Master of aU bee-lore. 
The Arcadian, in what wise oft ere now from the putrid gore 
Of a slain steer bees have been gendered. A legend of days of yore 285 
Will I trace far back to its primal birth as I tell it o'er. 
For where by Canopus the favoured race of Pellaean blood 
Dwell, by the lake-Uke overflow of the great Nile-flood, 
And in painted shallops around and above their farm-lands ride 
Where the marches of quivered Persia lie close on their eastern side, 290 
And where into branches seven the rushing waters divide 
Of the liver that sweepeth down from the swarthy Indians' land, 
And fertdizeth Egypt the green with its black slime-sand. 
On this never-failing device doth the whole tract's safety stand. 
First choose they a narrow space, and for this end straitened yet more : 295 
With the tiUng-stones of a low-pitched ceihng they roof it o'er : 
With narrowing walls they cramp that chamber ; in these they place 
Four windows of slanting hght, to the heaven's four winds that face. 
A young steer two years old, whose brow is with curved horns crowned. 
Already is chosen ; his nostrils and mouth are closely bound [300 

From breathing, despite his furious struggles : by blows is he slain [remain. 
So that pounded and mashed is his flesh, though unbroken the hide must 
So stretched on the earth in his prison they leave him : beneath him they 
Fragments of boughs, and thyme, and the fresh-plucked casia-spray. [lay 
This do they when first the west- winds drive the waves to the shore, 305 
Before the meadows are flushing with flower-colours, before 
The twittering swallow is hanging her nest 'neath the rafter-beam. 
Meanwhile in the softened bones those humours heat, and steam 
And ferment ; and lo, living creatures of aspect weird to behold — 
Footless at first, but wings loud-buzzing soon they unfold — 310 


Miscentur, tenuemque magis magis aera carpunt, 
Donee, ut aestivis effusus nubibus imber, 
Erupere, aut ut, nervo pulsante, sagittae, 
Prima leves ineunt si quando proelia Parthi. 

Quis deus banc, Musae, quis nobis extudit artem ? 315 

Unde nova ingressus hominum experientia cepit ? 
Pastor Aristaeus fugiens Peneia Tempe, 
Amissis, ut fama, apibus morboque fameque, 
Tristis ad extremi sacrum caput adstitit amnis, 

Multa querens, atque hac adfatus voce parentem : 320 

" Mater, Cyrene mater, quae gurgitis huius 
Ima tenes, quid me praeclara stirpe deorum — 
Si modo, quem perhibes, pater est Thymbraeus Apollo — 
Invisum fatis genuisti ? aut quo tibi nostri 

Pulsus amor ? quid me caelum sperare iubebas ? 325 

En etiam hunc ipsum vitae mortalis honorem, 
Quem mihi vix frugum et pecudum custodia soUers 
Omnia temptanti extuderat, te matre relinquo. 
Quin age et ipsa manu felices erue silvas, 

Fer stabulis inimicum ignem atque interfice messes, 330 

Ure sata, et duram in vites molire bipennem, 
Tanta meae si te ceperunt taedia laudis." 

At mater sonitum thalamo sub fluminis alti 
Sensit. Eam circum Milesia vellera Nymphae 

Carpebant hyali saturo fucata colore, 335 

Drymoque Xanthoque Ligeaque Phyllodoceque, 
Caesariem effusae nitidam per Candida coUa, 
Nesaee Spioque Thaliaque Cymodoceque, 
Cydippeque et flava Lycorias, altera virgo, 

Altera tum primos Lucinae experta labores, 340 

Clioque et Beroe soror, Oceanitides ambae, 
Ambae auro, pictis incinctae peUibus ambae, 
Atque Ephyre atque Opis et Asia Deiopea, 
Et tandem positis velox Arethusa sagittis. 

Inter quas curam Clymene narrabat inanem 345 

Volcani, Martisque dolos et dulcia furta, 
Aque Chao densos divom numerabat amores. 
Carmine quo captae dum fusis moUia pensa 
Devolvunt, iterum maternas impulit aures 
Luctus Aristaei, vitreisque sedilibus omnes 350 


Swarm out : through impalpable air ever faster and faster they leap. 
Until, like rain from the summer-clouds falling in cataract-sweep, 
All burst forth, swift as. the arrow that bounds from the pulsing string, 
Fleet as the Parthian riders battleward hurrying. 

What God, O Muses, was he who forged for us this device ? 315 

Whence did such new adventure of man's experience rise ? 
Aristaeus the shepherd, fleeing from Tempe's Peneian dells, 
When his bees by disease and famine were lost, as the legend teUs, 
By the sacred head where Peneius had birth stood mournfidly. 
And there on his mother he cried with a great and bitter cry : 320 

" O mother, who hauntest the swirhng deeps of the flood, mother mine, 
Cyrene, why didst thou bear me, a child of the high Gods' line, — 
If indeed, as thou sayest, my sire is Thymbraean Apollo, — to be 
But Fortune's fool ? Oh whither is banished thy love for me ? 
Ah why didst thou bid me hope to ascend at the last to the sky ? 325 
Lo now, of this the crown of my days of mortality, — 
Which my skilful wardship of corn-land and cattle had scarcely achieved 
With aU mine endeavour, — though thou art my mother, am I bereaved ! 
Ah come, and my fruitful plantations disroot with thine own hand ; 
Lay to my stalls fell flame, and blast my corn-clothed land ; 330 

My seedhngs burn, on my vines swing up the pitiless bill. 
If such deep loathing of my renown thine heart doth fill ! " 

Far down in her bower 'neath the flood was heard that woeful sound 
By his mother. Combing Milesian fleeces her Nymphs sat round. 
Fleeces with deep rich hues of the sea's own emerald dyed. 335 

For PhyUodoce, Drymo, Ligeia, and Xantho were there at her side : 
Over their snowy necks did the shining tresses fall. 
Cymodoce, Spio, Nesaia were there, Thalia withal ; 
Cydippe, Lycorias golden-haired, a maiden one ; 

Of the other Lucina's travail of late had been undergone : 340 

Clio, her sister Beroe ; daughters of Ocean were these. 
Vestured in fawnskins, gleaming with golden braveries ; 
Ephyre, Opis, and Deiopeia of Asian race. 

And swift Arethusa, whose arrows at last had rest from the chase. 
Amidst them was Clymene singing of Vulcan's heart-ache vain, 345 

And the wiles and the stolen dehghts of Mars, and rang through the strain 
The roll of the countless loves of the Gods since Chaos' reign. [roUed, 
As, entranced by the song, from their spindles the fleecy coils they un- 
Thrilled through the mother's ears the wail of the sorrowful-souled 
Aristaeus ; and all on their hyaUne thrones sat terror-amazed. 350 


Obstipuere ; sed ante alias Arethusa sorores 

Prospiciens summa flavum caput extulit unda, 

Et procul : " O gemitu non frustra exterrita tan to, 

Cyrene soror, ipse tibi, tua maxuma cura, 

Tristis Aristaeus Penei genitoris ad undam 355 

Stat lacrimans, et te crudelem nomine dicit." 

Huic percussa nova mentem formidine mater, 

" Due, age, due ad nos ; fas illi limina divom 

Tangere " ait. Simul alta iubet discedere late 

Flumina, qua iuvenis gressus inferret. At ilium 360 

Curvata in mentis faciem circumstetit unda, 

Accepitque sinu vasto misitque sub amnem. 

lamque domum mirans genetricis et humida regna 

Speluncisque lacus clauses lucosque sonantes 

Ibat, et ingenti motu stupefactus aquarum 365 

Omnia sub magna labentia flumina terra 

Spectabat diversa locis, Phasimque Lycumque, 

Et caput, unde altus primum se erumpit Enipeus, 

Saxosusque sonans Hypanis, Mysusque Caicus, 

Unde pater Tiberinus, et unde Aniena fluenta, 370 

Et gemina auratus taurino cornua voltu 

Eridanus, quo non alius per pinguia culta 

In mare purpureum violentior effluit amnis. 

Postquam est in thalami pendentia pumice tecta 

Perventum, et nati fletus cognovit inanes 375 

Cyrene, manibus liquidos dant ordine fontes 

Germanae, tonsisque ferunt mantelia villis ; 

Pars epulis onerant mensas, et plena reponunt 

Pocula, Panchaeis adolescunt ignibus arae, 

Et mater, " Cape Maeonii carchesia Bacchi : 380 

Oceano libemus " ait. Simul ipsa precatur 

Oceanumque patrem rerum Nymphasque sorores, 

Centum quae silvas, centum quae flumina servant, 

Ter liquido ardentem perfudit nectare Vestam, 

Ter flamma ad summum tecti subiecta reluxit. 385 

Omine quo firmans animum sic incipit ipsa : 

" Est in Carpathio Neptuni gurgite vates, 

Caeruleus Proteus, magnum qui piscibus aequor 

Et iuncto bipedum curru metitur equorum. 

Hie nunc Emathiae portus patriamque revisit 390 


But before her sisters her golden head Arethusa upraised 
Above the face of the wa,ters, and shoreward afar she gazed. 
And she cried far down : " Not causelessly scared by such woeful moan, 
C5n:ene my sister, art thou. Thy best-belovfed, thy son, 
Aristaeus, moumfuUy stands by Father Peneius' stream ; 355 

And he weepeth, and nameth thy name, and calleth thee cruel to him ? " 
At her words the heart of the mother was thrilled with unwonted dread : 
" lead him, lead him to me ! The thresholds of Gods may he tread ! " 
She cried. Then bade she the deep floods cleave asunder wide 
For a path to her young son's feet ; and lo, upon either side 360 

Overbowed like a mountain-cliff the wave encompassing stood. 
And received 'neath its mighty arch, and ushered him in 'neath the flood. 
And now, in amaze at the realm of waters, his mother's abode. 
At the pools cavern-pent, at the whispering river-groves, onward he strode. 
At the mighty march of the waters he gazed in wondering awe. 365 

AH rivers beneath the vast earth onward-ghding he saw 
To their several lands disparted : Phasis and Lycus were there. 
And the well-head whence deep Enipeus bursts to the upper air. 
And Hypanis crashing through crags, and Caicus through Mysia that flows: 
There Father Tiber had birth, thence Anio's swift rush rose, 370 

And he, with the horns on his bull-brows overlaid with gold, 
Eridanus : none other stream through teeming tilth-lands rolled 
Into the violet sea with wilder sweep doth pour. 
When he came to the chamber with hanging lava raftered o'er. 
And the cause of the helpless tears of her son Cyrene knew, 375 

For the washing of hands clear fountain-streams in order due 
Her sisters bear to him, napkins of pile close-shorn bring they : 
Some heap for the feast the board, and the brimming cups they array, 
And with incense of Araby they cause the altars to blaze. 
Then spake his mother : "A chahce of wine Maeonian upraise, 380 

Let us pour a libation to Ocean." Therewith she also prays 
Unto Ocean the father of all, to the Sisterhood of the Sea, 
In whose keeping forests a hundred and rivers a hundred be. 
Thrice down upon Vesta's hearth the nectar clear did she dash, 
Thrice to the roof's top-ridge did the flame updarting flash. 385 

Then spake she, and strengthened his heart with the omen, and bade be of 
" In the Sea-god's gulf Carpathian dweUeth a certain seer, [cheer : 

Proteus the sea-azure-hued, who measures the far-stretching main 
With dolphins and twy-hoofed horses yoked to his swift sea-wain. 
Even now he revisits PaUene the land of his birth, and the shore 390 


Pallenen ; hunc et Nymphae veneramur et ipse 

Grandaevus Nereus ; novit namque omnia vates, 

Quae sint, quae fuerint, quae mox ventura trahantur ; 

Quippe ita Neptuno visum est, immania cuius 

Armenta et turpes pascit sub gurgite phocas. 395 

Hie tibi, nate, prius vinclis capiendus, ut omnem 

Expediat morbi causam eventusque secundet. 

Nam sine vi non uUa dabit praecepta, neque ilium 

Orando flectes ; vim duram et vincula capto 

Tende ; doli circum haec demum frangentur inanes. 400 

Ipsa ego te, medics cum sol accenderit aestus. 

Cum sitiunt barbae, et pecori iam gratior umbra est, 

In secreta senis ducam, quo fessus ab undis 

Se recipit, facile ut somno adgrediare iacentem. 

Verum ubi correptum manibus vinclisque tenebis, 405 

Tum variae eludent species atque ora ferarum. 

Fiet enim subito sus horridus, atraque tigris, 

Squamosusque draco, et fulva cervice leaena, 

Aut acrem flammae sonitum dabit atque ita vinclis 

Excidet, aut in aquas tenues dilapsus abibit. 410 

Sed quanto ille magis formas se vertet in omnes, 

Tanto, nate, magis contende tenacia vincla, 

Donee talis erit mutato corpore, qualem 

Videris, incepto tegeret cum lumina somno." 

Haec ait, et liquidum ambrosiae diffundit odorem, 415 

Quo totum nati corpus perduxit ; at illi 

Dulcis compositis spiravit crinibus aura, 

Atque habilis membris venit vigor. Est specus ingens 

Exesi latere in montis, quo plurima vento 

Cogitur inque sinus scindit sese unda reductos, 420 

Deprensis olim statio tutissima nautis ; 

Intus se vasti Proteus tegit obiice saxi. 

Hie iuvenem in latebris aversum a lumine Njnnpha 

Collocat ; ipsa procul nebulis obscura resistit. 

Iam rapidus torrens sitientes Sirius Indos 425 

Ardebat caelo, et medium sol igneus orbem 

Hauserat ; arebant herbae, et cava flumina siccis 

Faucibus ad limum radii tepefacta coquebant : 

Cum Proteus consueta petens e fluctibus antra 

Ibat ; eum vasti circum gens humida ponti 430 


Of Emathia. Him we Maids of the Sea with worship adore, 
Yea, that doth Nereus the Ancient ; for all things are known to the Seer, 
Things that are now, that have been, things swiftly drawing near : 
For so hath Neptune ordained, whose monster ocean-kine 
And seals misshapen he pastures beneath the swirling brine. 395 

He first must be seized, must be bound, my son, till to thee he make known 
The cause of the curse on thy bees, and a prosperous issue have shown. 
For, except enforced, will he give no counsels, nor ever by prayer [him there. 
Shalt thou bend him : with violence stern must thou seize him, and fetter 
On thy bonds will his wiles be broken at last, will to emptiness fleet. 400 
Lo, I myself, when the sun hath enkindled the noontide heat. 
Will guide thee, when herbs are athirst, when shade to the flock is sweet. 
To the place of his hiding, whither the Ancient is wont to retreat [sands. 
Wave-wearied : thou hghtly mayst steal on him stretched asleep on the 
But when in thy grip thou hast seized him, hast lapped him in compassing 
bands, 405 

Then shapes ever-shifting shall baffle thee, fierce things' forms shall repel. 
To a bristly boar will he suddenly turn, to a tigress fell. 
To a scale-clad serpent, a lioness tawny-necked anon. 
Or crackHng and roaring in flames be at point from thy bonds to have gone, 
Or dissolved to impalpable water between thy fingers shall pour. 410 
But, still as he turneth himself into shape after shape evermore. 
Ever tighter and tighter, my son, those close-clinging bonds do thou strain 
Till he change for the last time of aU his shape, and appear again 
As at first thou didst see him, when dropped on his eyes the slumber-rain." 
So speaking, she bade the limpid scent of ambrosia flow 415 

Overstreaming the form of her son from head to foot, and lo, [limb 
Its ravishing perfume breathed through his smooth-sleeked hair ; each 
With sinewy vigour was thrilled. A cavern vast and dim 
Yawns in the tide-tunneUed cliff, whither many a wave, by the wind [420 
Thither herded, through rock-clefts far-withdrawn is parted and thinned. 
There mariners storm-overtaken safe anchorage found of old. 
Within hides Proteus, a huge rock-barrier before him rolled. 
Here did the Sea-nymph ambush her son withdrawn from the light : 
Herself stood far aloof in a cloud-haze veiled from sight. 
The flashings of Sirius by this, as he blazed in the sky, 'gan parch 425 
The Indians with thirst, and the sun had chmbed unto heaven's mid-arch : 
Scorched was the grass ; with sun-chapped lips lay the deep-channelled 
Glowing with heat, while slowly baked their mud in his beams, [streams 
Then, seeking his cavern-haunt, rose up from the billowy blue 
Proteus, around him the folk of the vast sea, wet with its dew, 430 


Exultans rorem late dispergit amarum ; 

Sternunt se somno diversae in litore phocae : 

Ipse, velut stabuli custos in montibus olim, 

Vesper ubi e pastu vitulos ad tecta reducit, 

Auditisque lupos acuunt balatibus agni, 435 

Considit scopulo medius, numerumque recenset. 

Cuius Aristaeo quoniam est oblata facultas, 

Vix defessa senem passus componere membra, 

Cum clamore ruit magno, manicisque iacentem 

Occupat. lUe suae contra non immemor artis 440 

Omnia transformat sese in miracula rerum, 

Ignemque horribilemque feram fluviumque liquentem. 

Verum ubi nulla fugam reperit fallacia, victus 

In sese redit atque hominis tandem ore locutus : 

" Nam quis te, iuvenum confidentissime, nostras 445 

lussit adire domos ? quidve hinc petis ? " inquit. At ille : 

" Scis, Proteu ; scis ipse ; neque est te fallere quicquam ; 

Sed tu desine velle. Deum praecepta secuti 

Venimus, hinc lassis quaesitum oracula rebus." 

Tantum effatus. Ad haec vates vi denique multa 450 

Ardentes oculos intorsit lumine glauco, 

Et graviter frendens sic fatis ora resolvit : 
" Non te nullius exercent numinis irae ; 

Magna luis commissa : tibi has miserabilis Orpheus 

Haudquaquam ob meritum poenas, ni fata resistant, 455 

.^uscitat, et rapta graviter pro coniuge saevit. 
1 Ilia quidem, dum te fugeret per flumina praeceps, 
I Immanem ante pedes hydrum moritura puella 

Servantem ripas alta non vidit in herba. 

At chorus aequalis Dryadum clamore supremos 460 

Implerunt montes ; flerunt Rhodopeiae arces, 

Altaque Pangaea, et Rhesi Mavortia tellus, 

Atque Getae atque Hebrus et Actias Orithyia. 

Ipse cava solans aegrum testudine amorem 

Te, dulcis coniunx, te solo in litore secum, 465 

Te veniente die, te decedente canebat. 

Taenarias etiam fauces, alta ostia Ditis, 

Et cahgantem nigra formidine lucum 

Ingressus, manesque adiit regemque tremendum, 

Nesciaque humanis precibus mansuescere corda. 470 


Gambolling leapt, and were flinging afar the briny spray. 

Soon, scattered along the shore, the seal-herd slumbering lay. 

Himself — like a sheepfold's warder amidst of the hiUs on a day. 

When the evening star bringeth homeward the calves from the pasture away, 

And keen grows the hunger of wolves hearing bleating of lambs in the fold. 

On a rock in their midst sat down, and their number he told and retold. 

Aristaeus, now that he saw so near the goal of his quest. 

Scarce suffered the Ancient to lay his weary limbs to rest, [he thrown 

Ere he rushed with a shout on him : ere he could rise, round his limbs had 

His manacles. Proteus f orgat not the craft so wholly his own, 440 

But in change after change all marvellous creatures of earth did he seem ; 

He was fire, was a hideous brute, was a swiftly-fleeting stream. 

But when no illusion avaUed him the net of the hunter to break. 

To his own true shape he returned, and at last with a man's voice spake : 

" Now who, most presumptuous of youths, hath bidden thee trespass thus 

On these our abodes ? " he said. " What seekest thou here of us ? "[445 

" Thou knowest, O Proteus, thou knowest : evasion can baffle not thee ; 

Cease then to essay evasion. Gods' counsels have guided me 

To come, for my stricken fortunes to seek thine oracles here." 

No more he said : then in stormily vehement mood the Seer 450 

Rolled on him sea-green eyes that blazed as with impotent hate. 

And grimly gnashing his teeth unlocked the lips of fate : 

" No mean power is it whose anger smites thee with these stern strokes. 

Heavy offence dost thou expiate. Orpheus the hapless invokes [455 

This vengeance — not half thy deserts ! — and if Fate withstand not his will, 

His wrath for the wife that was snatched from his arms shall be hard on 

She, fleeing in blind haste over the river from thy pursuit — [thee still. 

Doomed girl ! — saw not in the rank-grown grass afront of her foot 

The monster water-snake that haunted the banks of the stream. 

But the band of her age-mates the Dryads fiUed with scream on scream 460 

All mountain-peaks : then wept crag-towers that on Rhodope stand, 

AU heights Pangaean, and Rhesus' domain, the War-god's land. 

The Getans and Hebrus, and Oreithyia the Maid of the Strand. 

To lull with the hollow lyre love's anguish Orpheus tried. 

And thee alone on the lonely beach, thee, darling bride, 465 

Thee in the dayspring he sang, sang thee in the eventide. 

Yea, and through Taenarus' gorge, the abysmal portal of Dis, 

Through the grove of the horror of darkness, the shrouded mysteries. 

He passed : to the Shadow-land, to the King of Terrors, he came, [470 

To the hearts that know not relenting, whom no man's prayers can tame. 


At cantu commotae Erebi de sedibus imis 

Umbrae ibant tenues simulacraque luce carentum, 

Quam multa in foliis avium se milia condunt, 

Vesper ubi aut hibernus agit de montibus imber, 

Matres atque viri defunctaque corpora vita 475 

Magnanimum heroum, pueri innuptaeque puellae, 

Impositique rogis iuvenes ante ora parentum ; 

Quos circum limus niger et deformis harundo 

Cocyti tardaque palus inamabilis unda 

Alligat, et noviens Styx interfusa coercet. 480 

Quin ipsae stupuere domus atque intima Leti 

Tartara caeruleosque implexae crinibus angues 

Eumenides, tenuitque inhians tria Cerberus ora, 

Atque Ixionii vento rota constitit orbis. 

lamque pedem referens casus evaserat omnes, 485 

Redditaque Eurydice superas veniebat ad auras 

Pone sequens, — namque banc dederat Proserpina legem — 

Cum subita incautum dementia cepit amantem, 

Ignoscenda quidem, scirent si ignoscere Manes : 

Restitit, Eurydicenque suam iam luce sub ipsa 490 

Immemor heu ! victusque animi respexit. Ibi omnis 

Effusus labor, atque immitis rupta tyranni 

Foedera, terque fragor stagnis auditus Avernis. 

Ilia ' Quis et me,' inquit, ' miseram et te perdidit, Orpheu, 

Quis tantus furor ? En iterum crudelia retro 495 

Fata vocant, conditque natantia lumina somnus. 

lamque vale : feror ingenti circumdata nocte 

Invalidasque tibi tendens, heu non tua, palmas ! ' 

Dixit, et ex oculis subito, ceu fumus in auras 

Coramixtus tenues, fugit diversa, neque ilium, 500 

Prensantem nequiquam umbras et multa volentem 

Dicere, praeterea vidit, nee portitor Orci 

Amplius obiectam passus transire paludem. 

Quid faceret ? quo se rapta bis coniuge ferret ? 

Quo fletu Manes, qua numina voce moveret ? 505 

Ilia quidem Stygia nabat iam frigida cumba. 

Septem ilium totos perhibent ex ordine menses 

Rupe sub aeria deserti ad Strymonis undam 

Flevisse, et gelidis haec evolvisse sub antris, 

Mulcentem tigris et agentem carmine quercus ; , 510 


But thrilled by his song rose up from Erebus' depths of night 
Bodiless shades, and phantoms of folk bereft of the light, 
Multitudinous they as the birds that under the leaf-screens hide 
From the hiUs down-driven by evening or rains of the winter-tide ; 
Came matrons and husbands, and mighty-hearted heroes' shades 475 
Who had Uved their span of life ; came lads and unwedded maids ; 
Came youths, on the death-pyre laid before their parents' eyes. 
The pitchy ooze, the loathly sedge of Cocytus lies 
About them ; the sluggish wave of the Fen of Horror is sleeping 
Round the fettered ones held by the ninefold coils of Styx in keeping. 480 
Yea, the halls and the innermost Hell of Death by his song spell-bound 
Were still, and the Furies whose hair is with livid snakes enwound. 
Cerberus bayed not ; his triple jaws were agape, as rung 
The harp, and Ixion's wheel on the wind aU moveless hung. 

And now, retracing his steps, had he won of all risks clear, 485 

And regiven Eurydice now to the upper air drew near 
As she followed behind, — that one condition had Proserpine made, — 
When a sudden frenzy of doubt the unwary lover betrayed. 
Forgiven it well might have been, if forgiveness to Hades were known. 
He stopped : upon dayligiit's verge was Eurydice, almost his own ! 490 
Forgetting, and heart-overmastered he looked back ! Ah, in that hour 
As water spilt was his toil, and the bond of the pitiless Power 
Cancelled. Thrice was a thunder- crash heard from Avernus' fen I 
' What, oh, what utter madness hath ruined,' she cried to him then, 
■ Both me the all-hapless and thee, O Orpheus ? Back am I called 495 
By the ruthless Fates, and with slumber my swimming eyes are paUed. 
Farewell now ! Compassed with limitless night am I swept away 
As I stretch to thee strengthless hands — ah, thine never more for aye ! ' 

So cried she, and lo, from his sight, as smoke with impalpable air 
Blent, far-fleeting she sped ; nor, albeit he clutched in despair 500 

At the shadows, albeit he yearned to pour out his soul in pleading, 
Did he see her thereafter. Orcus' ferryman heard unheeding 
His prayer to cross that barrier-fen of Lethe's flow. 
What should he do ? Twice robbed of his wife, whitherward should he go? 
What tears could prevail with the Shades, what cry touch Hades' King ? 
Ah, she in the Stygian barge even now swam shivering ! [505 

Month after month, for seven whole months, as telleth the tale, 
'Neath a cloud-capt rock by Strymon's lonely stream did he wail. 
And deep in the ice-cold caverns unfolded aU his pain. 
Taming the tigresses, making the oak-trees follow his strain : 510 


Qualis populea maerens philomela sub umbra 

Amissos queritur fetus, quos durus arator 

Observans nido implumes detraxit ; at ilia 

Flet noctem, ramoque sedens miserabile carmen 

Integrat, et maestis late loca questibus implet. 515 

Nulla Venus, non uUi animum flexere hymenaei. 

Solus Hyperboreas glades Tanaimque nivalem 

Arvaque Rhipaeis niimquam viduata pruinis 

Lustrabat, raptam Eurydicen atque inrita Ditis 

Dona querens ; spretae Ciconum quo munere matres 520 

Inter sacra deum nocturnique orgia Bacchi 

Discerptum latos iuvenem sparsere per agros. 

Turn quoque marmorea caput a cervice revolsum 

Gurgite cum medio portans Oeagrius Hebrus 

Volveret, Eurydicen vox ipsa et frigida lingua 525 

' Ah miseram Eurydicen ! ' anima fugiente vocabat ; 

Eurydicen toto referebant flumine ripae." 

Haec Proteus, et se iactu dedit aequor in altum, 

Quaque dedit, spumantem undam sub vertice torsit. 

At non Cyrene ; namque ultro adfata timentem : 530 

" Nate, licet tristes animo deponere curas. 
Haec omnis morbi causa, hinc miserabile Nymphae, 
Cum quibus ilia choros lucis agitabat in altis, 
Exitium misere apibus. Tu munera supplex 

Tende, petens pacem, et faciles venerate Napaeas ; 535 

Namque dabunt veniam votis, irasque remittent. 
Sed modus orandi qui sit, prius ordine dicam. 
Quattuor eximios praestanti corpore tauros, 
Qui tibi nunc viridis depascunt summa Lycaei, 

Delige, et intacta totidem cervice iuvencas. 540 

Quattuor his aras alta ad delubra dearum 
Constitue, et sacrum iugulis demitte cruorem, 
Corporaque ipsa boum frondoso desere luco. 
Post, ubi nona suos Aurora ostenderit ortus, 

Inferias Orphei Lethaea papavera mittes, 545 

Et nigram mactabis ovem, lucumque revisens 
Placatam Eurydicen vitula venerabere caesa." 
Haud mora ; continue matris praecepta facessit ; 
Ad delubra venit, monstratas excitat aras ; 
Quattuor eximios praestanti corpore tauros 550 


As under a poplar's shade doth the nightingale mourn and mourn. 
Bemoaning her nestlings lost, which a ruthless churl hath torn 
From the nest where his eye had marked them yet unfledged ; but she 
Weeps nightlong. Crouched on a bough, her woeful melody 
Still she renews, and all through the land is her sad plaint heard. 515 
No waking of love, no dream of a bridal, his spirit stirred. 
Alone through the norland ice, over Tanais veiled with snow. 
Over fields aye wedded to frosts Rhipaean, he roamed to and fro 
Bewaihng the cancelled boon of Dis, and Eurydice torn [520 

From his arms, till the women Ciconian, who held love's tribute for scorn 
Of themselves, mid their rites and the revels of Bacchus through darkness that 
Tore him in pieces, and strewed with his young limbs many a field, [reeled 
Yet then, even then, when his head, from the neck's white marble shorn, 
' On the swirling mid-stream rolled down Oeagrian Hebrus was borne. 
The masterless voice ever shrieked ' Eurydice ! ' Cold in death . 525 
The tongue crieth ' Woe for Eurydice, woe ! ' with fleeting breath : 
All down the stream each echoing bank ' Eurydice 1 ' saith." 
Thus Proteus ; and lo, mid the deep with one swift bound had he spmng. 
And where he had vanished was foam on an eddy that swirled and swung. 

But Cyrene vanished not : straightway she spake to her trembling son : 
" Son, bid thy sorrow and care from thine heart disburdened be gone. [530 
Herein is the one sole cause of thy plague. The Forest-maids, 
With whom she wont to glide in the dance 'neath wildwood shades, 
On thy bees sent this sore havoc. Bring gifts, and for pardon pray 
To the Wood-nymphs humbly, for easy to be entreated are they. 535 
They will grant to thy prayers forgiveness, their wrath will they then for- 
But first will I tell thee in order the fashion of this thy prayer : — [bear. 
Four bulls, the choice of the herd, of peeriess form, choose thou. 
Which on green Lycaeus' heights for thy need are pasturing now ; 
Choose also heifers as many, whose necks no yoke ever bore ; 540 

And for these by the Wood-nymphs' high-built shrines rear altars four. 
There cause thou to stream the hallowed blood from the throats of the kine, 
And the victims' carcases leave in the grove that embowers the shrine. 
When the Dawn, at her ninth uprising thereafter, to earth shall return. 
For death-dues to Orpheus, poppies, the flowers of oblivion, burn, 545 
And a black ewe slay ; and then to the grove returning again, 
Eurydice worship, appeased at last, with a young calf slain." 

He tarried not : straightway he set him to do as his mother bade. 
He came to the shrine ; the altars, as counselled of her, he arrayed ; 
Choice bulls, of form unrivalled, thither he led down four, 550 


Ducit, et intacta totidem cervice iuvencas. 

Post, ubi nona suos Aurora induxerat ortus, 

Inferias Orphei mittit, lucumque revisit. 

Hie vero subitum ac dictu mirabile monstrum 

Aspiciunt, liquefacta boum per viscera toto 555 

Stridere apes utero et ruptis effervere costis 

Immensasque trahi nubes, iamque arbore summa 

Confluere et lentis uvam demittere ramis. 

Haec super arvorum cultu pecorumque canebam 
Et super arboribus, Caesar dum magnus ad altum 560 

Fulminat Euphraten bello, victorque volentes 
Per populos dat iura, viamque adfectat Olympo. 
Illo Vergilium me tempore dulcis alebat 
Parthenope, studiis florentem ignobilis oti, 

Carmina qui lusi pastorum, audaxque iuventa, 5^5 

Tityre, te patulae cecini sub tegmine fagi. 


And heifers as many withal, whose necks no yoke ever bore. 
When the ninth uprising of Dawn thereafter in splendour burned. 
The death-dues to Orpheus he paid, and again to the grove returned. 
But here do they look on a portent sudden and strange to be told — 
Through the putrefied flesh of the kine, even all that the hides enfold, 555 
Bees buzzing come, from the rifted ribs Uke steam-clouds rolled, 
Clouds trailing on measureless clouds 1 They swarm to the tree-top now, 
And a cluster huge hangs down from every bending bough. 

Such strains of the tillage of fields, of the rearing of beasts, I sang. 
And of trees, while mighty Caesar's thunder of battle rang 560 

By Euphrates the deep, and laws by the conqueror's right he gave 
Unto willing nations — yea, and his path unto Heaven did he pave. 
Through those great days was I cradled on pleasant Parthenope's knees, 
I Virgil, embowered in the strenuous toils of inglorious peace, [have sung. 
Who have chanted the Shepherds' Songs, who with youth's presumption 
Tityrus, thee 'neath the covert by broad beech-boughs overhung.